A basic principle of safety can be illustrated by the accident triangle. This principle states that for each accidental death that occurs, there are X instances of human injury, Y instances of property damage, and Z instances of what we will call Near Misses (in which the hazardous situation exists but an accident does not occur). Common examples of Near Miss behavior include smoking in bed, or running a red light. This safety principle reasons that the best way to avoid death, injury and property loss is to stay out of the Near Miss zone.

The best way to stay out of the Near Miss zone is to analyze hazards and create guidelines for safe operation. We then educate people about those safety guidelines. Whenever possible, we also place warnings and indicators near the hazard.

If, instead of focusing on accident prevention, we focus only on minimizing loss after an accident has already occurred, we will seek to improve our emergency response to accidents. Emergency response is a very important part of any safety program, but it is significantly more expensive than prevention. Therefore, unless we follow safety guidelines to avoid accidents, we will spend a great deal more money and time correcting accidents after they have happened.

When combined with proper operator training, hazardous gas detection is a cost effective way to manage risk and help ensure industrial safety.

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