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Four steps to prevent occupational diseases and accidents

January 2024

This article outlines the 4 key steps to prevent occupational diseases and accidents, including the main contributing factors to accidents.

Recognition, prevention and treatment of both occupational diseases and accidents, as well as the improvement of recording and notification systems, are high priorities for improving the health of both individuals and the societies they live in. This can only be achieved by improving national safety and health management system competency.

Managers and workers need to think about how to eliminate, reduce and control risks.

4 key steps to reduce risk

  1. Eliminate or minimize risks at the source
    (Example: Window cleaning at height; window open inside/out, no leaning out for cleaning.)
  2. Reduce risks through engineering controls or other physical safeguards
    (Use specially coated self-cleaning glass, use movable lift/platform)
  3. Provide safe working procedures
    (Carry out a Safe Job Analysis, and describe safe work procedures)
  4. Provide, wear and maintain personal protective equipment
    (Harness, helmet)

Identifying high-risk occupations

Data on work-related accidents and diseases is essential for improving prevention. Having assessed the economic consequences and the types of accidents that most frequently occur at its workplace, a company can identify “high-risk” occupations or processes and devise better accident prevention strategies to minimize or eliminate future accidents at work.

Since most hazardous conditions at work are, in principle, preventable, efforts should be concentrated on prevention at the workplace, as this offers the most cost-effective strategy for their elimination and control.

The most prevalent environmental hazards

WHO concludes that mechanical factors, unshielded machinery, unsafe structures at the workplace and dangerous tools are the most prevalent environmental hazards in both industrialized and developing countries and these affect the health of a high proportion of the workforce.

There is a growing body of data showing that most accidents are preventable and that relatively simple measures in the work environment, working practices, safety systems and behavioural and management practices are able to reduce accident rates even in high-risk industries by 50% or more in a relatively short period of time.

Accident prevention programmes are an important and technically feasible part of occupational health services; they are shown to have high cost-effectiveness and yield rapid results.

The main contributing factors to occupational accidents

The British Safety Council suggested the following main contributing factors to occupational accidents;

If you’d like to learn more about occupational health in developing countries, check out the full online course from The University of Bergen.

More information:


You will find many examples of the emergence of such technologies, OSH monitoring systems, good practices, information, guidance and advice, research reports, leaflets, and BOOKS and much more that has been brought together in OSH UPDATE + FIRE – THE key tool to all your health, safety and fire information requirements!


This time of the year is a good time for all organisations worldwide to review their health and safety goals for the rest of 2024 and decide on the training or re-training that is needed for all levels of staff whether they are working from home or actually in the workplace and update their information resources.

Check out these successful efforts that are in OSH UPDATE + FIRE and OSHWORLD and introduce them into your workplace!

It is always good to keep researching and finding out if there are services and other ways of keeping up to date in this fast-changing world of ours.

Time is precious and many people are really stretched in their jobs and find it difficult to keep ahead in current knowledge that they should have for their jobs.

So help is at hand for those working in health, safety, fire and fire related industries which are brought together in an easy to use web service entitled OSH UPDATE + FIRE that is constantly updated.

Then try these long established Practical, Affordable Solutions for your health, safety, fire and environment information needs from Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd.

For a 15 DAY FREE NO OBLIGATION TRIAL contact: Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd | email: | or fill in the Interest form

Diary of Events

Update your 2024 diaries with training sessions on offer in the Diary of Events.


This month’s OSHWORLD FOCUS is entitled Next steps for the Research Excellence Framework.

OSHWORLD – your portal to some of the greatest OSH and Fire web sites in the world

Wherever you are in the world have a look at your health, safety, chemical, fire and environment procedures in your workplace and update them. Your review may also indicate training requirements and re-thinking how systems and services can be improved. This is where the free-of-charge OSHWORLD can help you.


In addition to the above we hope that you find the information in OSHWORLD useful in your daily work. Globally there are continually new titles, news items, new products so remember to look at the News to find the latest information from a range of worldwide sources.

Use OSHWORLD as your portal to many hundreds of validated and authoritative web sites that you can find in the Country and Subject links we offer. New subject topics are constantly brought together on web sites, e.g. working from home, hybrid workers.

Most information services have a reference shelf where you can quickly check the reference sources – so OSHWORLD brings you a collection of Reference sources and also teaches you how to Search the Internet.

Visit the various Bookshops to order any new document as they are being published. Many of these Bookshops have a constant stream of new titles available.

Please send any suggestions or comments about OSHWORLD – your portal to validated and authoritative information. Remember also to look at our other really useful sites – and why not make a free entry about your company’s products in

Don’t forget to learn from history – visit
An invaluable resource for students, lecturers, trainers, health and safety professionals and others with a general interest in industrial history, the site sets out developments from the 1802 Factory Act all the way through to the most recent regulatory changes made by the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Don’t work harder – work smarter! Be ahead of the game.

Well did you have a zero accident, incident-free and healthy year in your workplace? Some would argue that this is not possible! But keep on trying again in 2024.

And do continue to make plans for your campaigns for 2024 and beyond! Remember everything is possible!