The workplace can be dangerous, even more so in an industrial environment. Numerous factors can cause accidents, ranging from overexertion to mishandling of hazardous materials. There are also a multitude of variables that can contribute to or influence a workplace incident. Following are eight of the most common causes of accidents in the workplace:

1. Lifting

Many accidents occurring in the workplace are due to lifting heavy objects. Some professions require workers to lift items repetitively. And if employers don’t ensure such workers practice safe lifting procedures, the possibility of employees suffering muscle strains and back injuries is high.

Additionally, employees should avoid lifting things beyond their ability, resulting in graver accidents and potentially worse injuries. In these cases, employees should seek help from colleagues or employ machinery to move larger and heavier objects. Remember, no piece of equipment or building materials is worth slipping a disc on the job. Take it slowly and always lift with your knees.

2. Fatigue

Physical preparedness is key to employees avoiding workplace injuries. In addition, employees should take regular breaks to recharge. Failure to rest enough after a demanding manual activity can result in fatigue and increased accident risk.

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So take your fifteen or thirty-minute break and ensure you rest and eat enough. Also, make sure you’re catching enough Zs after getting home so that you’re ready for the next day. Otherwise, that feeling of exhaustion leads to inattention, leading to accidents.

That fifteen-minute breather may prevent devastating injuries, so take your mandated breaks seriously and ensure your employees do the same.

3. Slips, trips, and falls

Statistics indicate that, on average, two employees die every year due to slipping, tripping, or falling.

While this data only considers slips, trips, and falls on the same level, you can expect the injury rates to be significantly higher for falls from high levels.

Slip and fall accidents are primarily caused by improper footwear, slippery floors, poor weather conditions, and rushing. Additionally, chaotic work environments with crowded corridors can cause slip and fall hazards.

Remember, slips, trips, and falls can result in severe and even permanent injuries, hence the need for both employers and employees to ensure proper flooring and housekeeping. Employees should also exercise caution when walking and avoid running for any reason.

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4. Acts of violence

Sadly, hundreds of people die due to conflicts leading to violence among employees on bad terms. In addition, disgruntled customers may resort to violence to express their dissatisfaction.

Regardless of the cause of violence, the resulting harm can be devastating. Therefore, ensure you’re good at self-defense and equipped with the necessary PPE (personal protective equipment). That way, you can help minimize the risk and extent of any harm.

Employers can play a part in reducing violence incidents by integrating peer mediation and conflict resolution training.

5. Hazardous materials

Failure to handle hazardous materials appropriately is another major cause of accidents in workplaces. This entry goes hand in hand with not wearing personal protective equipment.

Employers should encourage their workers to read safety data sheets and don protective gear before handling hazardous material.

6. Poor lighting

Poor lighting increases accidents. People stumbling in the dark will fall, collide, or even suffer injuries from sharp corners and other objects.

Light every corner of the workplace sufficiently to mitigate the risk of accidents. If you can’t see, you aren’t safe.

7. Stress

Both mental and physical stress can cause fatal accidents at the workplace. However, most employers don’t consider this stress a serious workplace hazard.

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Employees should ensure they’re in the right state of mind and physically fit for work to avoid unfortunate incidents.

Employers should encourage workers to take care of their mental and physical health. When unwell, employees and leaders alike should seek professional help in managing stress.

8. Distractions

Unfortunately, doing the same thing daily at the workplace often causes one to be distracted. That’s because repetitiveness results in boredom, which could affect judgment.

Distractions are a common cause of accidents. For example, a worker will collide with a colleague operating their mobile phone while walking along the corridors.

The remedy is to take regular breaks to allow enough rest to clear their mind from the work routine. Also, employers should adopt taking shifts instead of subjecting employees to long working hours.

Before you go

While there are several reasons why accidents occur at the workplace, the great news is that almost all accidents are avoidable. A combined effort of employers, workers, and even the public can ensure such incidents reduce significantly, leading to lesser injuries and deaths.

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