10 Common Causes of Workplace Accidents
Any work environment can be dangerous and may pose a severe risk to its workers, employees, employers, or business itself. There are hundreds, not thousands of accidents that occur each day, month, or year that is of serious concern. Numerous factors can result in accidents, injuries, or ill health, ranging from over-exertion to mishandling of hazardous substances.
This puts a legal, moral, and financial duty on employers to prevent their staff from such workplace accidents by taking reasonable actions and steps.
This blog post will explain in detail what are some common yet major accidents within a work environment that can put individuals in significant danger and what employers can do to prevent them.
Fatal Work Injuries Statistics
There were nearly 4,764 fatal work injuries reported in the United States in the recent years of 2019-2020. The fatal work injury rate was 3.4% per 100,000 full-time workers, which seems to be down from 3.5% compared to the year 2019.
There are nearly 1,850 inspectors responsible for the health and safety of 130 million workers, employed at over 8 million worksites, under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
This emphasizes the employer’s responsibility to prevent their workers and employees from any kind of workplace hazard, accident, and injuries so that they maintain a safe workplace for all to live and work in.
Common Mistakes Leading to Workplace Accidents
Below are some mistakes that individuals do not bother and can result in severe accidents:
- Taking Shortcuts
Taking shortcuts at work to get the work done fast and efficiently is one of the biggest mistakes that safety representatives or their employees take. These shortcuts increase the chances of severe accidents.
- Being Overconfident
Confidence is a good thing to get the work done safely and competently. But being overconfident can put individuals in great danger. In any case, leads to severe injury from the accident.
- Poor Housekeeping
Poorly maintained workplaces are also one of the significant reasons leading employees to various injuries or accidents. Poor housekeeping can create hazards of almost any kind which is a major health concern for all.
Major Causes of Workplace Accidents
Along with the mistakes leading to accidents, some major causes to are:
- Slips, Trips & Falls
Regardless of any work environment, individuals have to encounter slippery surfaces at some point in work. Slips, trips, and falls are considered to be prominent hazards leading to severe workplace accidents. This is not always an employer’s fault; it is sometimes employees and their carelessness that leads to such non-fatalities.
Therefore, everyone must have appropriate measures to prevent this risk at work.
- Hazardous Substances
Hazardous chemicals and substances when not handled with care and appropriate safety measures can result in serious chronic ailments as well.
Those working with such dangerous substances need to be very careful and have proper PPE with adequate training to work safely.
These chemicals at work can result in skin irritation, infections to the eyes or mouth, or in worse cases can result in carcinogenic.
- Workplace Stress
Stress is one of the major reasons for death. Similar is the case with workplace stress. It can affect the human body in every aspect. Work-related stress can lead to several mental health issues which can impact an employee’s performance and productivity. It can also result in absenteeism which in turn can lead to lost working days.
- Manual Handling
Lifting and loading work can lead to various physical injuries that come under manual handling work. It is seen that nearly 120,000 people have reported injuries related to lifting, loading, and carrying heavy items at work.
This makes it essential for employers to have suitable control measures in place to prevent their staff from any such health hazard.
- Violence & Aggression
Workplace violence and aggression are also prominent issues resulting in workplace accidents, injuries, or ill health. Employees conflicting with one another tend to be unsafe while working together. There are other sectors like health and social care where such issues occur daily.
Violence at work can lead to serious mental health issues for those facing it, resulting in sickness absence, or working days lost.
- Repetitive Strain Injuries
Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) another common problem that many employers and their staff don’t take seriously is a major health concern. This issue is not only limited to the display screen equipment users but can result from any kind of repetitive motion for a continuous period.
Employers can minimize this issue in their workplaces by encouraging workers to take short breaks, providing adequate training, and implementing safe working practices at work.
- Electrical Hazards
Electrical hazards can result in serious injuries or fatalities if someone comes in contact with a live wire or works around electrical equipment without proper guidance and safety measures.
Those responsible to prevent the safety of their staff must need to ensure that workers have proper PPE, training, information, and control measures to do the work.
- Fire Hazards
Fires can destroy a building in a matter of minutes that took years to build and establish. Fires can lead to severe losses to properties and lives. Therefore, employers must have fire control measures within their workplaces.
It is also their legal duty to appoint responsible persons to prevent fire hazards at work, must have proper fire doors at their workplaces, and have fire extinguishers to act proficiently in an event of a fire.
- Work Equipment Hazards
Work-related tools and equipment can also result in serious health implications if not handled and managed properly. Employers must need to keep a close eye on this issue as well. Employees working with different work equipment need to have sufficient training to work safely.
- Muscle Strains
Anyone who regularly lifts heavy items at work must be familiar with muscle strains as it is also a common workplace problem employees face. They must have simple and effective practices in place to mitigate any such issue to work safely.
How to Prevent the Workplace Injuries
Workplace hazards and injuries if not treated or taken into consideration on time can result in big problems. Therefore, employers must have vital control measures at their workplaces to prevent them.
They need to examine their workplaces for any risk and conduct sufficient risk assessments to complete the job safely. The risk assessment processes include manual handling risk assessment, display screen risk assessment, working at height risk assessment, fire risk assessment, stress risk assessment, and many more like these.
These processes help create and maintain a safe workplace for everyone to live and work in.
Workplace accidents are a leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in almost every area of work. These if not controlled over time can result in legal, moral, and financial implications for businesses. Therefore, responsible persons must take vital steps to control them. This blog post covers some major issues above.