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It will never happen to me…. Jayne Hayward. … we don’t have accidents. “I’ve been doing this job for over thirty years and I’ve never had an accident” “If we put everything in place that we’re supposed to we’d never get the job done”. The ostrich syndrome.

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it will never happen to me

It will never happen to me…

Jayne Hayward

… we don’t have accidents

the ostrich syndrome

“I’ve been doing this job for over thirty years and I’ve never had an accident”

  • “If we put everything in place that we’re supposed to we’d never get the job done”
The ostrich syndrome
why do we feel this way

No accidents may lead to ‘false sense of security’

  • Under-reporting
  • ‘we are safe’ mindset
  • Lack of knowledge about the risks ….

We don’t need SMS because we don’t have accidents

Why do we feel this way?


all it takes is a moment in time

Case study - Guard interlocking


An employee severed his arm in a rotary valve to which access had been gained through a hatch. He had been trying to clear a blockage.

The crop had blocked the cyclone causing the line to shut down. He opened the access door in cyclone to clear wet product, which wasn't dropping correctly onto conveyor. Instructed by the shift supervisor he then opened another lower inspection hatch.

He was somehow grabbed by the conveyor. As he tried to put his arm out to grab the edge of the hatch, he missed and his arm went into valve. As a result his arm was severed below the elbow including two fingers across top of hand - arm put back on and two fingers plus thumb.

All it takes is a moment in time…

The Domino Theory

  • immediate causes:
  • the agent of injury or ill health e.g.
  • the blade
  • the substance
  • the dust etc.
  • root causes:
  • the failure from which all other failings grow
  • (often remote in time and space from the adverse event e.g.
  • failure to identify training needs and
  • assess competence
  • low priority given to risk assessment etc.
  • Lack of maintenance/inspection
  • underlying causes: unsafe acts and unsafe conditions e.g.
  • the guard removed
  • the ventilation switched off etc.

Source: HSE/HSG45


Man slipping

on a patch

of oil





Lack of


and monitoring



and safety



not being


to health

and safety

Accident investigation

Source: HSE/HSG45

cost of accidents


(human costs)

Injured party

Physical injury

Loss of livelihood

Social life affected


Stress of dealing with aftermath

Stress over potential litigation

Cost of accidents


Criminal/Civil litigation

Damage to equipment

Loss of personnel/skill-set

Hidden costs


Time for the investigation

Increased insurance costs

Decreased morale of workforce

Negative publicity


Criminal proceedings

Civil law suits


Key annual figures 2011/12

173 fatalities

111K RIDDOR reportable injuries

1.1m work-related illness

212K over-3-day absence injuries occurred (LFS)

27 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury

£1 insured costs

£8 > £36

Hidden/uninsurable costs

Workplace injuries and ill health (excluding cancer)

costs to society an estimated

£13.4 billion in 2010/11


Andrew Pursey aged 21 years

Andrew used the spike of the fore end loader to bring a large, half ton bag of fertiliser from the storage barn and then positioned it behind the fertiliser spreader at the rear end of the main vehicle.

The spreader tractor was parked with its engine off but Andrew left the engine running on the other vehicle and did not put the handbrake on.

He then went between the two vehicles to slit the fertiliser bag. He had his back to the older vehicle and because the yard was on a concrete slope it crept forward, gathered speed and crushed him between the two vehicles. His mobile telephone was in the spreader tractor cab and he could not summon help.

prevention is better than cure
Prevention is better than cure

Safety Management Systems

Pro-active management

Trained personnel

Horizon scanning

Effective communication

Employee involvement in decision making

Positive safety culture

Rewarding safe practice

Disciplinary procedures

Safety meetings / tool-box talks

The cost of ‘putting things right’ far outweigh the cost of preventing an incident from happening in the first place



Pro-active management



drivers for pro active risk management
Drivers for pro-active risk management

Compensation claims

Perception of stakeholders

Adverse publicity

Loss of business

Fee for Intervention

fee for intervention
Fee for intervention
  • Exceptions
  • Self-employed – except S3
  • Does not apply to Companies regulated by a LA, also;
  • licensable work with asbestos (for licence holders)
  • work activities involving biological agents at specified containment levels

In operation from 1st October 2012

Brought in as an incentive to operate within the Law

Focus on high risk organisations

HSE charge £124 per hour for inspections/investigation where there is found to be a ‘material breach’

material breach
Material breach

‘A material breach is when, in the opinion of the HSE inspector, there is or has been a contravention of health and safety law that requires them to issue notice in writing of that opinion to the duty-holder’

Guidance available on HSE website HSE47


mitigating the impact of workplace accidents
Mitigating the impact of workplace accidents

Policy and procedures for managing incidents

Trained personnel / allocated duties

Appropriate level of First Aid cover – early intervention

First Aiders trained in specific occupational risks e.g. hazardous chemicals

De-fibrillators available

changes to first aid
Changes to First Aid

Guidance applies from 1st October 2013 (currently in draft form)

The requirement for HSE to approve the training and qualifications of appointed first-aid personnel to be removed

Training Providers will be required to meet certain standards set by HSE

Legal requirement for employers to ensure they have an adequate number of suitably trained first aiders (or appointed persons) in accordance with their first aid needs assessment remains unchanged


changes to riddor reporting

6th April 2012

Changes to RIDDOR Reporting

Previously reported injuries that subsequently result in a fatality are reportable under RIDDOR by telephoning the incident contact centre (ICC) or by submitting a duplicate form online…

Increase in period from over 3 consecutive days lost-time injury to over 7 consecutive days

Details of over 3 day injuries (listed in the Regulations) must still be formally recorded


Proposals to simplify/clarify RIDDOR reporting requirements (CD243)