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“It is better to be careful 100 times than to get killed once.” – Mark Twain

The definition of the word “accident” derives from the Latin word “cadere,” which means “to fall.” An accident implies an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.

An important part of preventing accidents is to understand how accidents happen in the first place and learn from the mistakes of others, rather than making your own.

Here are 5 causes of accidents in the sweeping industry:

1. Poor training

When operators are left to use sweepers without proper training, they will probably do so incorrectly. Without fully understanding how to use a sweeper and its safeguards properly, operators can be at risk for serious injury.

2. Insufficient protection

Sweepers have guards, warning decals and other measures installed to prevent injury. If these guards are not properly in place and used, and warning labels removed there is a serious risk of trapping, pinching and crushing, with potentially fatal consequences. That’s why it is so important to check your sweeper before every use to ensure that all the safety features are in place.

3. Incorrect PPE

Steel toe shoes and hi-vis vests are essential to protecting sweeper operators, but they are not the only measures you need to consider. Face masks or respirators should be worn when working in dusty environments for instance, and gloves should be issued when dealing with hot surfaces, or when handling materials that could harm your hands.

4. Disengaged operators

Sometimes operators are their own worst enemies; they might try to cut corners to save time, but these time-saving measures can have devastating consequences, especially if they involve skipping details of the provided risk assessment.

5. Ineffective risk assessments

Often accidents happen simply because potential risks have not been identified. It may be that a quick risk assessment has been completed, but important details were missed. Even if someone follows one of these risk assessments to the letter, they may still be in danger of being injured.

8 out of 10 accidents that happen are ultimately the fault of the person involved in the incident. “Operator Error”. That’s why it’s important to make a conscious effort each and every day to make sure that these 5 causes don’t happen. Your life, your coworkers’ lives, and your company’s overall well-being depends on it.

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