Workplace Injuries

10 Of The Most Common Causes Of Workplace Injuries

By: MattJackson
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Workplace injuries cost businesses billions of pounds every year. The Health and Safety Executive estimates that they cost more than £14bn in 2015. Effective health and safety policies can effectively reduce injuries, and all policies start with extensive risk assessment. The infographic below highlights the key causes of workplace accidents that your business should tackle. Complete a risk assessment, identify potential hazards, and assess the likelihood and extent of any possible injuries. Use the information gathered to make changes to your business, and store your findings so that you can refer to them later.

Trips And Slips

Trips and slips are the most common cause of workplace injuries, but they are also one of the easiest to combat. Temporary problems, like spills and wet floors, can cause these accidents. Make sure that any spills are quickly addressed. Have hazard warning signs to put up when a spillage is reported. As soon as the sign is up, have somebody clean up the mess. Only remove the sign once the hazard has been fully dealt with. For permanent hazards, add signs and warning stickers or consider making permanent changes to rectify the problem.

Open drawers and doors can cause obstructions so ensure that these are closed when they are not being used. Encourage all employees to do the same.

Lifting And Handling

Heavy weights can pose a major hazard because they can cause injuries like sprains and even fractures and breaks. All employees should have proper training on how to lift weights safely. This training provides guidance on how whether it is safe to lift particular items, and it also teaches employees the best way to bend and move while lifting. Training doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but could prevent neck and back injuries that are common with this type of work.

Provide proper machinery and equipment to aid in lifting. This can include items like trolleys that shift items from one location to another, as well as scissor lifts and other mechanical devices that are ideal for moving heavy weights to otherwise inaccessible areas.

Repetitive Strain Injuries

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) are commonplace in all manner of work environments. Office workers may develop RSI through the improper use of keyboards or the poor placement of chairs and desks. Basically, any repetitive task can lead to this type of injury, but providing the right equipment can help prevent it. Keyboards and chairs should be ergonomic, chairs and desks should be adjustable, and you should ensure that every employee knows how to make the necessary adjustments to their equipment.

Identify repetitive tasks and identify ways to reduce repetition. Teach good posture. Offer regular training and always make sure that the equipment used to complete these tasks is up to date and in good condition because poorly maintained equipment is useless.

Machinery

Heavy machinery has the potential to optimize working procedures. It can save money and time and is needed to complete a lot of tasks that you undertake. Provide safety equipment for employees that use heavy machinery and train employees so that they can use it properly. Use machine guards provided and, for machinery that does not incorporate guarding, look for alternative methods of protection.

Maintain all machinery and monitor its condition because the poorly maintained equipment is a major contributing factor to workplace accidents. Make sure all employees wear the proper safety equipment at all times. There should be no exceptions to this rule because safety gear really can save lives.

Falls From Height

Working at height poses a number of risks, including the potential for falls. Falling from a short distance can lead to injuries while falling from a significant height can be life-threatening. It also poses a danger to others in the vicinity.

Add guardrails and handrails to elevated areas. Ensure that employees wear head protection, as well as items like harnesses. The proper use of safety equipment is one of the most effective ways of mitigating falls in the workplace.

Falling Objects

Another hazard of working at heights is the danger of falling objects. Protective headgear can prevent serious head injuries, while guards and rails can prevent items from falling in the first place. Falling objects can cause minor injuries, like cuts and bruises, as well as serious, potentially life-threatening injuries.

Inadequate Training

Many jobs and roles have specific requirements. Training not only provides employees with the knowledge they need in order to be able to complete their work but it also shows them how to safely complete their work.

Employers are required to train staff properly, and employees should be required to attend any training sessions that are arranged. Conduct regular training courses, consider employing external training companies and monitor training progress.

Toxic Substances

Some working environments are naturally more hazardous than others. Toxic environments, for example, pose a very obvious and real threat. Protective equipment like masks and face protectors should be provided, while employees need to receive proper training on how to work around toxic substances.

Carelessness

Employee carelessness is a major cause of workplace accidents. A lot of people, when faced with a repetitive task, tend to lose concentration. They feel as though they’ve done it a thousand times before, so they don’t need to concentrate. Even with the proper training and safety equipment, this carelessness can lead to accidents, so encourage all employees to pay attention to what they are doing. Minimize distractions like music, if necessary, and remind employees of the potential dangers associated with a lack of concentration.

Employee Fault

Employee fault accidents are similar to those caused by carelessness. Individuals become complacent when they perform the same tasks over and over again, while some believe that they won’t become injured because they have been doing the same job for years. Good training and reminders can help prevent your employees from suffering this same problem and becoming injured at work.

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