There are infinite things that could cause workplace accidents, especially if you are in an industry that involves working with sensitive tools or harsh chemicals. While an unsafe environment is one of the major causes of such mishaps, 90% of workplace accidents are ultimately down to human error. In most cases, people look for someone to blame when such incidents take place, instead of focusing on the root cause of the accident so that it doesn’t happen again.
The good news is most of these mishaps can be prevented by following a set of safety precautions. Below we have listed the 7 major causes of workplace accidents that every employer needs to be aware of.
1. Lack of Cleanliness
Most workplace accidents do not involve hazardous chemicals or heavy equipment. It’s rather the messy environment that makes your employees prone to slipping or similar accidents. For example, a wet floor increases your risk of falling and injuring yourself. Similarly, a cluttered space makes it super difficult for your staff to spot sharp objects that might be lying around.
Proper housekeeping is a must for all types of workplaces – whether it is a small rental store, a modest office or a huge corporate site. Not only does it ensure the highest safety standards, but it leaves a good impression on your customers and employees.
In today’s social media-driven age, distraction has become a major cause of lack of productivity and inefficient performance at work. It’s normal to feel bored at work and take small breaks. However, breaks are all about checking your mobile and getting distracted by notifications.
People can get so distracted that they may neglect proper safety procedures and compromise on safety. You must allow your employees to take regular breaks and get a change of scenery every few hours. This will help to keep people focussed at work and avoid accidents.
3. Taking Shortcuts
Many workplace accidents occur because employees or management are cutting corners. While there can be nothing wrong with taking shortcuts to get work done faster, these shortcuts must be avoided if they pose a risk to your safety. In addition to increasing the risk of injuries, shortcuts can also lead to poor performance and property damage. Plus, it sets the wrong example for employees working under you. It is better to invest more time and effort to do things properly than take shortcuts and risk your safety and the safety of others.
4. Poor Lifting Technique
Do not ask your employees to lift objects that weigh more than they can handle. It is one of the common causes of back pain, muscle strains, and other injuries. If heavy lifting is a common practice in your workplace, consider getting machinery to streamline the job. Additionally, give staff training on how to lift heavy objects.
5. Insufficient Lighting
Poor lighting increases the risks of accidents. There is a higher chance of people tripping and falling in places with dim and poor lights than in a well-lit workplace. Your office, parking lots, entryways, warehouses, and every part of your premises should be well-lit to ensure proper safety.
6. Failure to Follow Safety Protocols
Having a safety plan in place is extremely important, especially in the post-COVID world. Each employee should adhere to safety protocols to prevent mishaps. A common cause of workplace accidents is employee overconfidence. Your employees are not paid to avoid safety protocols and make their own rules. Workplace safety protocols are developed to ensure maximum protection for everyone, so these protocols should always be the priority.
7. Hazardous Chemicals
If you are involved in an industry that exposes you to chemical hazards, you should strictly follow the safety precautions for chemical uses and storage. Inhaling toxic chemicals can cause serious respiratory problems.
Similarly, chemical burns can be common in workplaces where different types of harsh chemicals are used regularly. People working with chemicals must wear safety goggles, gloves, a mask, and other protective gear to ensure protection from chemical burns.
8. Workplace Violence
You’ve taken care of workplace cleanliness and hazards that might cause employee accidents. However, workplace mishaps are not always caused by clutter, poor lighting, heavy lifting, and trips and falls. At times, conflicts between employees can also cause serious problems.
People don’t really consider workplace violence as a major safety threat, as the chances of violence are rare. However, physical confrontation does occur and it can lead to nasty injuries if things get out of control. It’s the employer’s duty to organize informal get-togethers so that employees can bond with each other and resolve their issues before they turn into a nasty fight.
Although there are many things that can lead to workplace injuries, employers can prevent avoidable accidents by having proper safety protocols in place. Safety equipment, risk awareness, and proper training are a few ways to avoid accidents and improve safety in the workplace.