The workplace can be a dangerous place, with hundreds of thousands of accidents occurring at work every year. That is why it is so important for every business owner and employer to take the appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of their workers, and for employees to stay vigilant when performing their daily tasks. Here are five of the most common causes of workplace accidents and injuries to watch out for.
Slips, Trips and Falls
A slip, trip or fall can happen anywhere at any time, so while this may not be a common cause of serious injury, it is the most commonly occurring accident across the workplace.
Spillages, high-traffic corridors, and slick floors can all cause a trip or fall, with improper footwear often contributing to the risk as well. As such, much of the time the fault does not fall to the employer.
However, lack of signage, improper or slow response to spills or leaks, or trailing wires are all examples of preventable hazards which would put the employer at fault if a member of staff were to trip and fall. In these instances, a trip and fall attorney may be needed for an employee to attain compensation.
Falls From Height
In 2017 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 887 workplace fatalities due to fatal falls. Making it one of the greatest causes of deaths at work, and catalysts for wrongful death claims, in the United States.
In general working at height should be avoided whenever possible, and only carried out by trained staff with suitable equipment and adequate risk assessments.
Extra care should be taken when working with ladders, ensuring they are put up and placed properly, as the overwhelming majority of these fatal falls occur from a ladder.
One of the biggest causes of workplace injuries and work time lost occurs because of poor manual handling, with heavy lifting leading to strains, sprains and even muscle tears.
Although most workplaces that require any form of manual handling will likely have controls in place, such as staff training and tools and procedures for heavy lifting or other significant or repetitive manual tasks, hundreds of thousands of employees are still injured each year.
Now regarded as the biggest cause of work time lost due to ill health, stress is also one of the leading causes of death nationwide.
All large employers are required to have appropriate stress management policies in place for their business. Encouraging positive and supportive team environments and training in mental health awareness and self-care.
If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed at work, it is important to bring this up with your boss. There are likely practices in place to ensure you get the support you need.
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) has become an increasingly commonplace problem in the workplace over the years.
We all know that sitting at a computer or day is not the best thing for our health, with continuous use of a keyboard and mouse being the most common cause of RSI.
However, this is not the only cause of the problem, any repetitive motion of the joints has the potential to lead to chronic pain.
Employers can help prevent RSI by supplying ergonomic equipment such as foot and wrist rests and encouraging and reminding workers to take frequent breaks.