We recently discussed with a client an incident that occurred where a near miss could easily have ended with a fatal injury and all because a worker failed to recognise the risk he was placing himself at.
He had been working on a large piece of machinery which required a data point to be referenced, to do this he had located a reference marker into a rotating shaft. Unfortunately, instead of facing it so it could be easily read he located at a point that required him to lean across the guarding to see the information he needed.
In doing so he leant over too far and fell inside the guard onto the machine platform where there was a shaft rotating at 1800 RPM; luckily his head just missed the shaft and a colleague stopped the machine. This man was clearly lucky as a few inches was the difference from a few bruises to something that could have easily killed him.
When challenged by the Health & Safety manager, the man was clearly unaware of how lucky he had been and was indignant to the manager’s suggestions. When we discussed this it seemed crazy that it could so easily have been avoided if the operator had taken the time to think the job through properly. He was an experienced and long serving employee yet he failed to recognise such simple failures.
This makes us wonder how many of your staff (that you think are competent to do their jobs) really understand where there’s the safety line that must not be crossed? This operator didn’t, even after it had gone wrong and based on this may even make the same mistake again; maybe next time he won’t be lucky!
This business is about to undertake a big initiative to look at PUWER compliance and to look at how human errors can be designed out; is this something you have thought about?