Top 5 Causes of Workplace Accidents

Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere! Whether you’re at home or on the road, there are infinite possibilities for something to go wrong. Accidents in the workplace 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 dangerous materials, can lead to life-threatening situations at the workplace.

Top 5 Causes of Workplace Accidents 1

Employers are responsible for providing their workers with a safe work environment. However, employees are also held accountable for such accidents because, often, these accidents result from their negligence. As such, workers must adopt safe work practices to ensure 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 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 slips, trips, and falls, 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 dangerous substances like 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 breathing, skin or eye reactions, and 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 and 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 hinder workers’ ability to perform their jobs. To avoid accidents due to these causes, short breaks are a must. Fatigue can hinder even a well-rested employee’s performance, so taking breaks at regular intervals or when needed is necessary.

4. Shortcuts

Negligence on the part of workers is another common cause of accidents at the workplace. Employees may take shortcuts on their jobs to save some time and effort. Taking shortcuts or avoiding safety procedures, especially when dealing with dangerous machinery, can be extremely dangerous. To prevent such accidents, there must be regulations to ensure 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 device, leading to crushed hands and arms, cut-off fingers, blindness, and even worse. These mechanical hazards usually occur when workers lack protective guards and training to operate machines. In industries, employees work on flywheels, pulleys, belts, connecting rods, cams, spindles, and chains to cut shapes, or form stock. It’s crucial to properly train machine operators and ensure they’re using protective gear to avoid such accidents. In addition, manual handling and lifting heavy objects also result in sprains and back injuries.