Statistics show that there were 2.6 million injury and illness cases in the workplace in 2021, which shows that accidents are commonplace and a cause for concern. Many workplace accidents are also avoidable, which means that employers should be doing more to protect their workers. Of course, there are industries like construction that are hazardous, but even a typical office-based business has a number of potential dangers to be aware of. This article will look at what some of the most common workplace accidents are, along with how they can be avoided so that people can work safely each day.
Slips, Trips & Falls
Slips, trips, and falls are the most common type of accidents in the workplace and can easily occur in all industries and settings. Wet or oily surfaces, trip hazards, poor lighting, and uneven surfaces can all lead to these types of accidents, and this means that they are also avoidable. Keeping clean, tidy, and dry walking surfaces and placing signage to alert people are key to preventing these accidents. The severity of slips, trips, and falls can vary greatly, ranging from a few scrapes to a life-changing or even fatal injury, so they must be taken very seriously.
In many industries, employees will need to use machinery and equipment that can present a safety risk. In particular, industries like construction, farming, and manufacturing involve the use of heavy-duty machinery, and this can result in body parts getting stuck or being hit by exposed flying parts or objects flying from the machine. Proper training is essential to prevent these accidents, as well as PPE and regular machine maintenance.
Vehicles are a common part of many business operations, which inevitably means that vehicle accidents are a serious safety issue. This could involve a delivery driver being involved in a crash or somebody being hit by a forklift in a warehouse setting. Of course, vehicle accidents can be serious, life-changing, and fatal, so employers need to do everything that they can to avoid these accidents. Proper training, having designated areas for driving, and high-vis clothing can be helpful in reducing vehicle-related accidents in the workplace.
RSI & Over Exertion
They may not be as dramatic or noticeable as the above, but repetitive strain injuries are very common and a serious cause for concern. RSI can occur from carrying out the same task repetitively, whether this is typing on a computer or working on an assembly line. The seriousness of RSI should not be overlooked as it can cause significant pain and even impact a worker’s ability to perform their duties in the long term.
Similarly, employees can suffer serious injuries from overexertion, which can involve heavy lifting or improper lifting techniques. Therefore, it is important to provide training on how to carry out every task safely, but you also need to ensure that people are taking regular breaks from work. It is also helpful to teach employees how to stretch properly to prevent injuries and to offer role variation so that they are not doing the same thing throughout the day.
Fire & Explosions
Fire and explosions are obviously severe accidents that can change lives and cause significant harm and distress. There are many reasons why these accidents occur, including open flames, faulty gas lines, and improper storage and/or movement of combustible materials. The casualty rate is high with these types of accidents, so prevention is key. Again, proper training is essential here, as well as the use of PPE.
These are some of the most common accidents that occur in the workplace. As you can see, these are often avoidable, and it is often the employer that is at fault. If you are injured in a workplace accident that was not your fault, you could be entitled to compensation to cover the damages.
You will want a lawyer that specializes in this area in your corner, such as Mitchell Law Corporation as an example. Having the right attorney working on your behalf can make the process much easier and help you to focus on recovery while they look to seek maximum compensation. The amount that you could be entitled to will depend on various factors, but you can recover damages for medical bills, physical therapy, current and future loss of wages, and pain and suffering endured.
It is unfortunate, but accidents in the workplace do happen and can be serious and even fatal. Often, these accidents are avoidable, and it is the employer that has a legal responsibility to provide a safe work environment for their team.