5 Common Workplace Accidents and How to Prevent Them
Unfortunately, accidents are still far too common in the workplace, particularly in manual labour industries such as construction or warehousing. Many of these injuries tend to be minor and won’t have an adverse affect on the person’s ability to work. But on rare occasions they can turn out to be extremely serious and have lasting and devastating effects on the recipient. Many of these injuries are ones that recur over and over again, and in many cases could be avoided with the correct procedures in place. Here are 5 common workplace accidents and how to prevent them.
Slipping, Tripping and Falling
Slipping, tripping and falling is probably the most common cause of workplace injuries, with many of them being entirely avoidable. Wet or slippery floors, uneven surfaces, working unsafely at heights, and objects being placed or left in inconvenient locations are all prominent causes of this type of injury.
To prevent them, spills should be immediately cleared up when they occur, signage should be put up to warn of uneven flooring, the proper precautions should be put in place for working at height and workspaces should be kept as tidy as possible with tools and equipment stored in its correct place.
Strains, Pulls and Tears
Muscle strains, pulls and tears usually affect the back and most commonly arise in one of two ways. Firstly from workers lifting objects that are too heavy for them, and secondly from repeatedly lifting objects without employing the proper technique.
All workers should be trained in the correct techniques on lifting objects, involving lifting using the legs rather than the back. If the role involves repeated lifting then the right supports, braces and equipment should be provided to prevent repetitive injuries.
Being Hit By Moving Objects
Being hit by moving objects is particularly common on construction sites and in warehouse type environments. It refers to both objects falling from height and also vehicles, like forklifts or even cars, moving around the sites themselves.
The right personal protective equipment is essential in this instance, in particular hard hats, eye goggles, bright reflective clothing and toe capped boots. Sites should also have strictly enforced rules around the speed of moving vehicles which are clearly signed.
Electric shocks and burns can occur in any workplace where there is electrical equipment or tools. They are most commonly as a result of poor upkeep to, or faulty equipment, or believing that power lines are off when they are in fact live.
Equipment and tools should be regularly tested, and if any faults are suspected, taken out out use. Only trained personnel should work with electrics and effective communication is necessary between them and any other workers involved.
Getting Caught Between Objects
Getting caught between objects can occur when working with factory equipment that has moving parts, or when a moving object shifts towards a stationary one. Both can be serious, if not fatal for the trapped worker.
Training on how to use equipment and machinery safely and correctly is absolutely paramount here so that workers are not placing themselves at risk by unwittingly using it in a dangerous manner.
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