No Harm, No Foul - 12/19/2011

Safety E-QuickTips
U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Safety E-QuickTips is a weekly email designed to help Employers and Employees start their
week with a short thought about safety in the workplace.
No Harm, No Foul
Almost all accidents that result in personal injury start with a cause and end with an effect -
- the injury, itself.
Near miss incidents also start with a cause, but because of lucky chance, they end with no
injury. No harm, no foul. No need to pursue the issue any further. Wrong!
A near miss incident does not result in personal injury only by chance. If you had been
located a foot this way or that, if the projectile had been a fraction of an inch this way or
that, if you hadn't been able to grab something stable at the last moment, if the power
hadn't shut off at that instant, if something hadn't caught your attention at the last moment
. . . if, if, if!
If any of these, or other "ifs", hadn't happened, you would have been injured. It is
important to learn from near miss incidents -- identify what you did wrong and learn how to
ensure those behaviors are not repeated.
How many times have you heard from your fellow workers: "One more second, and I'd have
been a goner." or "It came that close -- it just missed me." or "Boy was I lucky, one more
inch and I'd be toast?"
If you are aware that a near miss incident is the result of something you did, and it was a
violation of an obvious safety rule or procedure, consider yourself lucky! Learn from your
mistake, and be more careful in the future.
You should be open about near miss incidents -- perhaps even conduct a safety meeting
about a specific near miss incident. They provide a great teaching tool to prevent injury to
others. They drive home the importance of safety without having to suffer the immediate
consequences of a real personal injury accident. In a way, they are a blessing because they
point out hazards of construction work in a meaningful way that is easily understood by all.
A note of caution. Some injuries are actually caused by an employee showing someone
else what he did to initiate a near miss incident, and the second time around he is actually
I hope you treat future near miss incidents as if they were accidents and take the time to
determine the cause and ensure that they don't happen a second time.
From all of us at U.S. Compliance Systems, we hope you and your families have a safe and
happy holiday season.Have you just received your first Safety E-QuickTip or just want to take a look at past
issues? Check out our Safety E-QuickTips Archive Page on our website.

Thanks for Reading and Please - Work Safe This Week!
Please let me know How We Are Doing or write us a Testimonial. I'd like to hear from you.
Contact Information
U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
Phone: 1-888-475-5353
Fax: 1-888-925-5353
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