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Looking to Prevent Accidents

Most accidents happen because people just didn’t watch what they were doing, where they were walking, or where they were standing, sitting, or climbing. Paying attention and “looking” is our topic for today. It is the most important and basic principle of accident prevention.

There is a common safety example of the billboard painter who stepped back to admire his work and fell fifty feet to his death. It’s all right to admire your own work, but it’s mighty important to look before you step in any direction. You could be stepping into an open elevator shaft, off the edge of a platform, or into the path of moving vehicle.

On any job site from office work, to trash pick up, to digging sewer lines there are always materials and equipment being handled and moved about. It is highly important that while working on the job we remember to be alert to all such movement. Look up, look down, look all around so you won’t walk into the path of a moving truck, another co-worker, or a piece of swinging equipment.

Falls are not unique to multi-story construction sites. Many people have been killed falling through ceilings retrieving stored materials or missing steps as they climb a ladder. Many other accidents occur from falls due to poor lighting, objects left in walkways, people failing to clean up spills, etc.

Your eyes are your biggest asset to your work; take care of them so they will take care of you. When you are working or around work where there is sawing, grinding, welding, or in any work done outside in windy conditions, wear the proper eyewear. Always be aware of where you are and what is happening around you. If you keep your mind and your eyes on what you are doing and where you are, you will be at less risk of having to explain an accident by saying “I didn’t see” when what you really mean is “I wasn’t looking”.


Contact OMAG Risk Management Services if you have questions or suggestions for other topics related to Municipal Workplace Safety Issues. 1 (800) 234-9461 or email kprichard@omag.org.

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