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WriteRelease discuss human errors causing workplace injuries and deaths

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WriteRelease  present discussion on the the topic of human error in workplace injuries and deaths. This topic would be discussed at The Safety Conference, which will be presented by the Safety Institute of Australia (NSW Division) in Sydney.

The Canadian author and keynote speaker Larry Wilson says that human error is the cause for 99 per cent of acute injuries and fatalities. Similarly, Hans Kopruch of Kahler Communications Oceania will be addressing the conference delegates that a closer look on the cause of mishap reveals that in the majority of all cases it is found that the well-known 'human element' plays a crucial role.

Australia's Roger Kahler of the InterSafe Group comments by saying that such ‘myths’ are delaying the progress of safety and said it was not uncommon to find people in supervisory and management positions projecting onto a person who appears to be close to, or at the centre of, and incident.

He also comments that people involved in serious incidents are often associated with labels like 'human error', 'the cause', 'unsafe', 'foolish' and 'non-compliant behaviour'.

Roger Kahler singles out four myths and projections associated with common workplace incidents:

  • Back damage from lifting task
  • Fall while descending fixed or mobile plant
  • Fall involving a slip
  • Spinal damage from jolting while driving
Kahler says the prevailing safety culture of Australian workplaces tends to reinforce the myths. Describing a poster with a toddler squatting beside a box and the headline Kids do it, Kahler says the message is one of 'Kids are smarter than adults and they lift correctly'.

Larry Wilson is expected to present a different approach to conference delegates. He says a core group of critical behaviours or critical errors, if they aren't performed safely are common to incidents in every industry. These are:

  • Eyes not on task
  • Mind not on task
  • (Moving into or being in) the line-of-fire
  • Somehow losing their balance, traction or grip
Before an error occurs, there is almost always at least one state (human factor) that predicates the error as said by Wilson. Rushing, frustration, fatigue or complacency could actually cause them (workers) to make a critical error.

The psychological state of a worker in distress, agrees Kopruch, is key to the advancement of safety.

In the complex man-machine-environment interface, the machine improves constantly and significant amounts of money are constantly invested.

Often the environment has to be accepted as a random variable in the mix to be managed. 'Man' is among the most complex of the components involved. And this component is added time and time again and again. And it constantly shows up as a major causal factor in incidents and accidents in any area concerned.

Process improvements and safety enhancements should be achieved by focusing more on the functionality of the man component under distress.

The ability to decode, identify and defuse onset of behaviour under stress will help to avoid the escalation from miscommunication to mismanagement and eventually to damage.

A three-day workshop run by Kahler Communications Oceania after The Safety Conference will teach stress management of self and others as well as improved communication abilities.

Kahler, Wilson and Kopruch will discuss the role of people in workplace injuries during their October 30 addresses on day three of The Safety Conference. This conference has been sponsored by WorkCover NSW and Getex.

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