Accidents can happen any time—obviously they’re not intentional, and there are infinite possibilities for something to go wrong. You can avoid many accidents, however, by taking certain precautions to ensure that the most likely mishaps will not occur.
Here we’ve gathered some information about the most common causes of workplace accidents so you can be prepared to prevent injuries and other incidents:
It is so easy to injure yourself while lifting heavy objects. Eliminate back injuries and muscle strains by ensuring that everyone practices safe lifting procedures. It’s always best to recruit a helping hand or to use machinery to move large objects.
Poor lighting can be a major cause of trips, falls, and other workplace injuries. If you can’t see the hazards, they’re much more likely to become serious problems. Every area in the workplace should be well lit, including offices, warehouses, parking areas, and outside entryways.
Hundreds of people die each year from workplace violence. Employees in conflict with one another tend to be especially unsafe when working together. OSHA has guidelines for violence prevention if you need help resolving these issues in your workplace.
Consistently one of the leading causes of workplace injuries, trips and falls continue to be a major problem. Slippery floors, improper footwear, rushing employees, and weather conditions all contribute to trip and fall hazards. Make sure all employees are well trained on the relevant safety information and verify that the physical conditions in the workplace are up to standards to lower the number of injuries in this category.
Physical and mental stress are less commonly recognized workplace hazards, but they can cause serious or even fatal accidents. Employees must be in the right mindset and physically sound for the job. Communicate the importance of mental and physical health to all employees. It’s important to take breaks and seek help with managing stressful situations.
As mentioned before, it is imperative that employees show up to work physically prepared. A lack of adequate sleep can cause exhaustion, inattention, and accidents. Even a well-rested employee can grow fatigued while on the job, so it’s necessary to take breaks at regular intervals or when needed.
Employees should never take shortcuts on the jobs, especially when dealing with dangerous machinery or circumventing safety procedures. The regulations are in place to protect employees and to make sure everything is done correctly.
Employees should be confident about what they’re doing, but overconfidence may diminish carefulness or attention. Overconfident employees are likely to ignore safety precautions and forego double checking their work. It’s important for them to understand that accidents can occur any time to anyone, no matter how skilled or experienced.
A messy workplace is a dangerous workplace. Objects and debris on the floors pose tripping hazards, wet or dirty floors can cause slips, cluttered surfaces can conceal sharp objects, poorly contained chemicals are an obvious hazard… you get the picture. Besides the dangers, good housekeeping sets a good example for other safety precautions as well.
Lack of Preparation
No one should ever be on the job without the proper knowledge, training, certifications, tools, or PPE. Preparedness on the job is one of the absolute best ways for employees to stay safe.
It’s easier said than done, but employees must try to leave personal matters at the door. Being distracted on the job is similar to being fatigued, stressed, or overconfident. Workers simply cannot perform their jobs to their full potential if their mind is elsewhere.
Have you noticed any of these behaviors in your workplace? It may be time to set up some refresher training to reduce the risk of injuries and improve overall performance in your organization. Better safe than sorry, as they say.