Courting trouble

Courting trouble

‘Accident don’t happen, they are caused’ -- this is the basic concept imparted meticulously to new entrants in all Industrial establishments, especially in the ones where hazardous operations are involved.

Extensive studies in this regard have shown that a major percentage of the accidents happen due to human error while the rest are attributed to equipment failure.
 Whilst these are identifiable and remediable, we come across freak accidents, which are least anticipated, even by seasoned experts in safety engineering.

Recently there appeared a news column about a nine-month-old baby that got locked up inside an apartment when its main door with an automatic lock, whose key happened to be inside, banged shut due to a strong breeze while the child’s parents were standing outside . The fire brigade had to rescue the child. This is only one of the many treacherous instances which are happening around us causing panic in our day to day life.

 Can we not think of giving our duplicate house keys to any of our reliable neighbours to avoid such situations? Not long ago a coconut landed on my cousin’s head grievously injuring her, belying the much hyped belief that coconuts are never known to fall on anybody! But then it is certainly not a brilliant idea to sit reading a book under the coconut tree….

In today’s highly mechanised world it has become necessary to take a micro look at elements which can be identified as causes of freak accidents, and devise remedial measures to circumvent the same. Often we unwittingly plan hazardous situations in our own living places.

For instance, what is the purpose of opting for highly polished and glazed flooring in our houses which could be a potential booby-trap especially for senior citizens? Why should our womenfolk drape themselves in loose attires of easily inflammable fabric while in the kitchen? And why is it necessary to have sturdy automatic locking devices in our own toilets and bathrooms as if family heirlooms need to be guarded there?

 Recently, an ailing friend of mine got trapped in his own toilet as its sturdy self-locking device got jammed and it took hours to free him after breaking open the door to release the stubborn latch. Wouldn’t a simple tower bolt have sufficed here?

It does not need a genius to workout simple measures to avert similar lurking hazards. Just let us put our commonsense on the job and see the solutions unfolding themselves!

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