A man or a machine?

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The question is intrinsically linked with investigating the causes of dangerous situations, both those resulting in bodily injuries and those which could have resulted in them due to environmental or infrastructure damage.

In the first part of the 20th century, in the era of rapid industrial and technical development, the main sources of hazard were machines and devices in which moving elements were often not secured against the contact with Employees, and work processes took no consideration of ergonomics.

Along with the evolution of technology and science, the construction of machines, devices or vehicles has undergone an enormous metamorphosis. Those changes have brought us to a moment when in the 21st century the most frequent cause of accidents is the user itself.

The research in this area confirms this thesis. Presently it is estimated that one incident with bodily injuries is preceded by 400 near-misses and as much as 5,000 dangerous behaviours. This knowledge has changed the attitude to analyzing accidents. To select preventive measures properly, both direct and indirect causes shall be considered. Special attention is paid to factors and stimuli inducing hazardous behaviours of Employees. To apply adequate preventive measures you have to check, for example, why the Employee uses personal safety precautions in a wrong way or improperly operates a machine. An all-embracing attitude towards searching the source of hazardous actions as soon as they occur and their elimination allows for a considerable minimization of a possibility of an accident or a disease.

At Raben Group we are aware of those relations, therefore SHE (safety system) in Raben includes observation of accidents and dangerous actions, also at our suppliers'. Such near-misses as failures to adjust the speed to the weather and trafficconditions or inattentive maneuvering of a fork lift during reloading operations shall undergo careful analysis. The change of the procedure concerning investigation of accidents will allow us to thoroughly analyze the root causes and choose appropriate preventive actions so that in the future we will be able to
eliminate the same and similar mistakes. Involving the suppliers in this process and cooperation with them on studying the events and specifying “what went wrong" or what could have been changed in order to avoid the hazard (incident) will let us develop safer work processes for all stakeholders. This is an intentional action aimed at strengthening safety culture and lowering the risk of health loss of Employees and partners of Raben Group.

Grażyna Łukasik

Grażyna Łukasik

SHE Manager

Runs SHE projects (Safety, Health and Environment)in Raben Group. Specializes in occupational health and safety as well as in ergonomics of workstations. A DGSA Advisor since 2003.


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