#2 - The 3 Main Sources Of Unexpected Events

In the workplace and to a similar extent at home or on the road, there are only 3 main sources of unexpected events: either the equipment does something unexpectedly, someone else does something unexpectedly or we do something unexpectedly.

Hello and welcome back to the “Paradigm Shifts” series.

Last issue, we discussed whether it was hazards or is it hazardous energy? The conclusion (although fairly straightforward) is that it’s really hazardous or potentially hazardous energy… which can move. People can also move, which means that eyes and mind on task are very important, which means that human error is important – primary in fact – whenever people are moving or things around them are moving.

So, if we acknowledge that human error is important, the next question is “who”. Whose error caused the incident? Is it always the other person or is it mostly us? And what about when there’s no human error, just mechanical or electrical failure?

Well, one thing we do know is that no one is ever trying to get hurt or cause a lot of accidental damage. Nobody ever plans to do this, which means that something unexpected must have happened. Once something unexpected happens, it’s like the first “domino” falling. Then, depending on how many other dominos are lined up, that unexpected event will start a chain reaction. Once the chain reaction starts, and the dominoes start falling – exactly where you end on the (old) risk pyramid is usually determined by the amount of hazardous energy and luck (landing on your feet is usually better than landing on your head and a one-meter fall is usually better than a 10-meter fall).

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