Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

Recognizing What Can Hurt Us

Hazard: A source of danger

You’re driving a truck. On a narrow, one-way street, eastbound on a beautiful late summer morning. Your route calls for you to make a right turn into a very busy intersection. The traffic light is red. You stop, but you can legally make a right turn – if it is safe to do so.

Assessing the situation, here’s what’s on your checklist of potential hazards – the things that can hurt you, and things and people that might be hurt by you:

  • Vehicles coming from your left
  • Vehicles parked on the main street to your right
  • Pedestrians in the crosswalk
  • Pedestrians entering the crosswalk from your left
  • Pedestrians entering the crosswalk from your right
  • Pedestrians crossing the main street on your right

Question 1: In what order would you assess this situation for hazards? (What would you look for first, what would you save for last?)

Question 2: In a busy intersection in a metropolitan area, what might you be missing that is important?


That’s the answer in the meeting room, the classroom, or the office. As to how a case of recognizing what can hurt us plays out in real life – in a situation exactly like this:

It’s one more tragic example of how important it is not just to know how to recognize hazards, but practice the process all the time!

Paul Balmert
September 2017

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