What Are the Common Causes of Workplace Accidents?
Workplace injuries, deaths, and illnesses cost billions of dollars each year. Any business seeking to reduce its outgoings needs to be proactive in looking after their employees, and they also have a duty of care which means they must make staff safety a priority.
But are companies really doing all they can when there are still so many workplace accidents year after year? To find out what you can do to improve your safety record, it's necessary to understand the most common causes and what you can do to reduce the risks.
Read on to find out how you can improve your workplace safety standards.
Poor Lifting Techniques
One of the most common causes of workplace injuries is using incorrect lifting techniques. It's easy to tweak a muscle or strain your back when moving heavy objects. These accidents can result in mild issues that resolve quickly or lead to a severe injury that could be life-changing. All employees should pass an accredited course that teaches correct lifting techniques.
Employers should also encourage staff to work as a team when moving items and to use lifting equipment when possible.
Low Light Conditions
When considering how to keep employees safe, it's important to take the lighting conditions into account. When working outside, darkness can fall quickly, so employees need to have torches and bright clothing, so others know they are there. But, there can also be low lighting conditions when working indoors.
Employers need to ensure all aisles and rooms have adequate illumination, and that staff can easily report any areas that require more lighting.
Trips and Falls
If employees are wearing unsuitable footwear, rushing across the workplace, or there are slippery floors, they may suffer trips and falls. But, this is often easily avoidable. You can place mats near doors for staff to wipe muddy and wet feet. Also, it's useful to have plenty of available signs that employees can use to tell others there is water on a section of the floor.
Workplace Accidents and Fatigue
Employees suffering from fatigue could be at an increased risk of suffering a workplace injury. This problem can arise in high-demand jobs, when there are long duty shifts, and when people are generally overtired from reasons outside their working environment. It can also be challenging to determine if a staff member is fatigued.
It may not be obvious from their physical appearance, and they may not want to admit to being exhausted. It's vital that businesses reassure employees that they can tell their supervisor they are fatigued and receive support. Not only does this help keep the staff member safe, but it also reduces the risk of the person putting their colleagues in harm's way.
Contact with Moving Objects
There are many potentially dangerous moving objects in warehouses, on construction sites, and in other hazardous environments. For example, forklifts are a common piece of equipment, and it is not always easy for the operator to view the space around them. Cranes may also move heavy objects such as timber and metal beams, and employees need to be careful when this work is ongoing.
It's a good idea to ensure all staff wear high-visibility clothing, so colleagues know exactly where they are at all times. Employees should know they must never enter a precarious environment without wearing their safety gear. It's also helpful to have spare supplies that staff can borrow if they forget or damage their own high-visibility jackets, vests, pants, or shirts.
Messy Workplace Environment
When keeping employees safe, one of the crucial steps is to provide them with a tidy workplace environment. If they have to move items to perform their jobs, then they are more likely to hurt themselves. This can be a particular problem if there are heavy objects on top of shelves that could fall and hit a passerby.
You can provide cleaning staff with a checklist to ensure they don't miss any areas. A supervisor can also check the workplace is in order throughout the day and report any areas that need urgent attention. Employees will appreciate their company is taking steps to protect their welfare and to give them the best possible workplace.
Lack of Necessary Equipment
If staff do not have the right tools to do their job, they can be tempted to cut corners and put themselves at risk. To ensure good workplace safety practices, it's essential to provide the right equipment for each task. You can also assign one team member to check the tools at the end of each shift.
If they notice any signs of wear and tear, you can then replace these items before the next use.
Too Many Distractions
There is usually nothing wrong with a radio playing in the background or staff chatting while doing their jobs. But, some tasks may be particularly dangerous, and employees may become injured at work if they are not focused. While employees need to ensure they are concentrating, employers can also help.
You could put up signs advising a certain area is off-limits while others are working there. You can also add soundproofing to areas where workers are engaged in work that could lead to a serious injury.
Contact Hi-Viz.com for Your Workplace Safety Needs
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To learn more and get a free quote, contact the Hi-Viz.com team today.