Avoiding workplace accidents: The importance of pre-job safety analyses

Colin Morrish


Careful, thorough, individual and group pre-job safety analyses completed by knowledgeable and competent individuals can significantly reduce workplace incidents.  Benefits include: decreased costs, improved productivity and morale of employees, and an increased perception by those outside of positive safety consciousness.

Pre-job safety analyses can be done either by a team of workers or by a solitary worker. In both cases these workers need to be trained in the completion of pre-job safety analyses. Supervisors must check to see that these analyses are completed competently.

Examples of pre-job safety analyses presented will be the Neil George Five Point Safety system and a construction field level risk assessment. Workers may be guided by one of these systems to complete a pre-job safety analysis but must also have access to safe work procedures, and equipment and area inspection reports.

Examples of accidents that I investigated during my 18 years as a Saskatchewan mine inspector will be discussed within the context of the above.  The causes of the accidents will be explored with close reference to how pre-job safety analyses could have prevented their occurrence.

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