Many factors contribute to on-the-job accidents that can result in injuries and deaths for workers. However, all can be summed up in two distinct categories: unsafe actions and unsafe conditions.
Unsafe actions cause most occupational accidents and injuries, although unsafe conditions may exist as well. Driving vehicles and operating machinery outdoors during Illinois snow and ice storms puts workers in vulnerable positions where accidents can occur. However, with proper training in avoiding safety hazards, workers can learn to negotiate unsafe conditions successfully while at work.
When workers receive insufficient (or no) safety training, they can commit unsafe actions that heighten the inherent risk present in unsafe conditions. Dangers from inclement weather at a plant or work site where workers must navigate either on foot or in a vehicle can be mitigated with proper training. Workers can learn how their unsafe actions jeopardize not just their own health and well-being, but that of their coworkers, and in some instances, the community surrounding their work site.
The major difference between unsafe conditions and acts is that unsafe actions are linked to workers' behavior and may be unrelated to skill levels. Some research indicates that the more highly skilled workers are, the likelihood of their developing unsafe behavior patterns increases. Overconfidence and poor judgment can lead to accidents and injuries on the job.
All employees should receive proper training on ways to avoid unsafe acts on the job, especially when the conditions are unsafe. If you suffered an injury, or a family member lost his or her life, due to unsafe actions of a coworker or a company's unsafe working conditions, you have the right to pursue financial damages for your losses.
Source: Safety.CAT.com, "Unsafe Acts vs. Unsafe Conditions," accessed Jan. 07, 2016