Today I saw the aftermath of a tiny incident: somebody got a little stuck in some wet soil. No problem. They more or less pulled their legs out and rolled to firm ground. Everybody, please get back to work.
I am getting old and fractious. I am developing a crotchety gut feel about some things, and this was one of them. So we drove out to look.
This was the first time I have ever seen quicksand. I had been lectured on how it occurs; and I had set exam questions involving the principles. In brief quicksand develops when groundwater comes up more or less vertically through a cohesionless sand layer, and the sand becomes a more-or-less fluid mass.
We walked around establishing the topographic, groundwater, and soil conditions that give rise to piping. Mainly an innocent berm constructed by mechanical engineers; lots of rain; upgradient runoff; and ponding.
I cannot here go into the details of the implications and end result—they are still working themselves out. But I had to do some fast talking to convince folk to deal with this as an incident, for in my opinion, it is a harbinger of far worse conditions to come.
And that is the essence of an incident: left unattended, unexamined, unrectified, far worse will transpire. They say ten incidents per one accident; ten accidents per one death. (Or is it one hundred?)
Thus I add this plea: deal immediately and proactively with incidents, even small ones.