5 of the Most Common Accidents at Work (and How to Stay Safe)
We try to avoid incidents or accidents, but it’s not always possible. Workplace injuries are more common than we like to assume, with nearly five million occurring each year.
This figure is far too high. Such workplace injuries can have serious repercussions on a worker’s life. Not only is the pain frequently unbearable, but these injuries can keep one away from the job. They can make it difficult to find work in the future and support a family.
It’s essential that such accidents at work are avoided at all costs. Understanding common types of accidents can help one stay safe. Read on, and we’ll walk you through the five most common workplace accidents.
1. Slipping and Tripping
Slips and trips happen far too frequently in almost any and all working environments. So many different factors can contribute to a slip and fall accident. There might be poor flooring, loose mats, wet patches, or a general lack of upkeep of the work environment.
It’s an employer’s responsibility to ensure that the working environment is safe. Wet or disorganized floors are a liability and can lead directly to workers on their backs. Workplaces who face a risk of frequent spills should invest in anti-slip flooring as a preventive measure.
The same workplaces should also include specific non-slip footwear in their uniform is such a risk is omnipresent. If there are dangerous areas in the working environment, they should be well-lit and advertised by signage.
An employer taking the time to employ these steps can greatly limit the chance of slip and falls in their workplace.
2. Falling From A Height
One of the most tragic and fatal workplace accidents involves someone falling from a great height. These deaths are awful and preventable. Not every one that falls from a height in the workplace dies, but the risk of death is definitely present and should be taken very seriously.
Such risk is more apparent in a construction site than it is in an accounting office, per se. But even employees stepping up on a ladder to change a bulb can lead to an unfortunate incident.
Employers should put in place policies that encourage safety when it comes to working with heights. Ladders shouldn’t be used for a long period of time. All elevated work stations should have strict and rigorous safety checks and procedures.
Barries and safety nets can also be installed as a precaution in the event that a worker does fall. These can be a huge asset in a construction environment.
3. Being Hit By A Falling Object
The inverse of the previous point also frequently happens in workplace environments. As before, this kind of incident is especially dangerous in a construction environment, where huge blocks of concrete are lifted and moved around.
But even workers in an office have been struck by objects falling out of cupboards or from atop high shelves.
Providing adequate storage space in the office can help to avoid such troubles. When it comes to construction or bigger worksites, strict safety procedures need to be employed.
There’s no reason anyone should be placed under a large item when it is being moved. The risk is just too high. Proper safety procedures would keep workers far away from this danger.
4. Pulled Or Strained Muscles
It’s less dire than the other injuries we’ve discussed, but a pulled or strained muscle is among the most common of workplace injuries.
It’s easy to see why. Even in a traditional office environment, there’s a great deal of lifting, moving, and carrying that needs to get done. The strain put on the neck and back is far too common in almost all workplaces.
Much of this strain is caused by a lack of knowledge on the employee’s side. Many people just haven’t been taught proper lifting procedure. There’s a healthy way to lift objects (using the legs) and a less than healthy way (using the back).
Some basic training on proper lifting techniques can help to limit the risk of such injuries around the office.
5. Inhaling Toxic Fumes
Many people work in an environment where different chemicals are at play. Some of these chemicals are harmless, but many can have potentially damaging effects on the body.
Worse still, there is sometimes limited research to suggest the difference between the two. Or even when a chemical is known to be dangerous, proper safety precautions aren’t taken.
Those who are required to work near hazardous chemicals can face serious skin and eye reactions if exposed without proper safety gear. If inhaled, these chemicals can have a serious impact on the lungs. In extreme cases, they might even cause cancer.
A workplace that involves dangerous chemicals must employ the use of proper protective safety gear. A lack of safety gear provided by employers is dangerous and negligent considering the work at hand.
In addition to the proper gear, employees should be educated about the chemicals at hand. Expert knowledge of what they’re working with can only help. Proper training when it comes to working with the chemical can help avoid unintentional mistakes and injuries.
The Most Common Accidents At Work
Workplace injuries are far more common than they should be. Understanding what causes accidents at work can help us avoid repeating them in the future. We all want a safer work environment, and together we can build that future.