Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere! Whether you’re at home or on the road, there are infinite possibilities for something to go wrong. When it comes to the workplace, accidents are becoming more prevalent, with some turning into fatal tragedies. Workplace accidents can be hazardous, especially in an industrial environment. Any factor from overexertion to mishandling of hazardous materials can lead to life-threatening situations at the workplace.
It’s the responsibility of employers to provide their workers with a safe work environment. However, employees also hold accountability for such accidents because, many times, these accidents are a result of their negligence. As such, workers need to adopt safe work practices to ensure that they do not put themselves in danger.
Several factors can cause accidents, and by taking certain precautions to avoid those causes, you’re most likely to prevent mishaps at the workplace. So, let’s take a look at the five most common workplace accidents to help you avoid and prevent them from occurring.
1. Slips, Trips, and Falls
One of the major sources of workplace injuries is slip, trips, and falls that are a top cause of workers’ compensation claims. Wet or slippery floors, loose rugs or mats, improper footwear, obstructed view, poor lighting, rushing employees, floors with less traction, and weather conditions all result in trip and fall hazards. Such accidents cause injuries such as broken bones, sprains, head and back injuries, and cuts. To prevent trip and slip accidents at the workplace, it’s necessary to have proper walking surfaces, good housekeeping, and appropriate footwear.
2. Hazardous Materials
Most of the serious accidents are a result of improper handling of hazardous materials. The air may also contain hazardous substances in the form of dust, fumes, mists, gases, and vapors, which can cause serious health issues. Inhaling such toxic fumes or inappropriately handling risky materials without wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) can be perilous. It may cause impairment to breathe, skin or eye reactions as well as potentially more serious injuries.
3. Overexertion and Stress Injuries
Continuous work without taking a break is also responsible for work-related accidents. Overexertion causes musculoskeletal disorders and is one of the biggest reasons behind the loss of workdays. Such injuries lead to loss of productivity in addition to spending millions in annual health benefit payout costs. The major cause of overexertion includes pulling, lifting, pushing, holding, or carrying objects over 50 pounds. Likewise, Repetitive Stress Injuries are responsible for hold back workers’ ability to perform their job. To avoid accidents due to these causes, short breaks are a must. Fatigue can hinder even a well-rested employee’s performance, so it’s necessary to take breaks at regular intervals or when needed.
Negligence on the part of workers is another common cause of accidents at the workplace. To save some time and effort, employees may take shortcuts on the jobs. Taking shortcuts or avoiding safety procedures, especially when dealing with dangerous machinery, can be extremely dangerous. To avoid such accidents, there must be regulations in place to make sure everything is done correctly. Also, by determining the origin and cause of past accidents, you can take preventive measures to avoid such accidents in the future.
5. Machinery-related injury
In factories, the most terrible accidents often occur due to the improper handling of machines. Workers may get caught in or struck by a moving machine, leading to crushed hands and arms, cut off fingers, blindness, and even worse. These mechanical hazards usually occur when workers are not provided with protective guards and training to operate machines. In industries, employees work on flywheels, pulleys, belts, connecting rods, cams, spindles, and chains to cut, shape, or form stock. It’s crucial to give proper training to machine operators and make sure they’re using protective gear to avoid such accidents. In addition to this, manual handling and lifting heavy objects also result in sprains and back injuries.