4 Common Workplace Accidents & How to Avoid Them

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Top Most Common Accidents at Work

The United States Department of Labor carefully monitors all deaths and injuries that occur in the workplace. In 2016, through the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it was reported that approximately 2.8 million employees suffered from workplace injuries or illnesses in 2017. Of this, 882,730 injuries resulted in an injured or ill employee having to take days off from work. (The BLS also found that the average number of days off from work because of injuries received while on the job was 8.)

Knowing how to avoid the most common types of workplace accidents can help keep employees and employers alike safe from the consequences of an injury. Below, the experts at Accident Help Zone highlight the most common types of accidents at work and help explain how you can prevent them from happening.

1. Slips, Trips and Falls

It may seem trivial, but slips, trips and falls actually account for a third of all workplace injuries. Often, we underestimate how dangerous a simple fall can be. Injuries most commonly associated with slips, trips, and falls are head injuries, back injuries, broken bones, cuts, sprains and pulled or strained muscles.

In most cases, there are specific areas in which slips, trips and falls occur. Slips typically occur on wet or oily surfaces. This can include places where an occasional spill occurs, as well as areas affected by weather hazards, and loose flooring, such as rugs or mats. Trips most often occur in areas where visibility is limited. This includes areas where your view is obstructed, the lighting is poor, and drawers are not fully closed.

The best way to prevent injuries associated with slips, trips, and falls is to practice good housekeeping. Keep areas clear of clutter and liquids. Ensure areas are properly lit. It is also advised that employees are reminded to wear appropriate footwear, take their time, and pay attention to where they are going.

2. Struck by or Caught-In Moving Objects

In many workplaces, the machines used to accomplish tasks can cause serious, often grisly injuries. In fact, approximately seven percent of all workplace fatalities result from being struck by or caught in machinery in the workplace. Injuries can include crushed hands or limbs, blindness, severed appendages, and much worse.

There are three areas associated with machinery that are often considered the most dangerous. The point of operation is one of the most dangerous areas. This point, which is where the work is being performed on a material, may include cutting, shaping, boring, and other such material manipulations. The power transmission apparatus, which transmits energy to the machine, it another dangerous region. Pulleys, belts, chains and other gears are all fast-paced, dangerous components that can cause serious injuries at this junction. Finally, any moving parts associated with the machine should be cause for concern. Moving objects can catch an unsuspecting or distracted employee by surprise and lead to serious, sometimes fatal injuries.

The best way to prevent injuries associated with machinery at work is to have the proper safeguards in place. These safeguards should help prevent injuries that may result from machine parts, functionality and processes. Proper clothing and training should be provided to employees to help prevent serious injuries.

3. Transportation or Vehicle-Related Accidents

Vehicles of all shapes and sizes are used in many working environments. As a result, accidents are a possibility. Whether hitting another vehicle, being struck by a forklift or falling from a backhoe – where there are vehicles, safety is a concern.

The most common places to be injured by a vehicle are on the road and in the workplace. For example, construction workers have been hit or killed by vehicles while repairing roads.

Depending on your work environment, you should access the level of danger vehicles pose to those around you. Construction workers, for example, not only need to worry about vehicles used to lay asphalt, but they also need to worry about other vehicles passing by their work zone. Safety orientations, workplace designs, and other such measures will then need to be put into place to ensure potential danger zones are adequately and sufficiently addressed.

4. Fires, Explosions or Electrocution

Fires, explosions, and electrocutions are also serious and common workplace accidents. Injuries associated with these factors include burns, respiratory damages, and disfigurement. (They also account for the highest casualties associated with workplace injuries.)

Faulty gas lines, ill-fitting pipes, improper storage of flammable materials, and exposed wires are the primary factors that contribute to these types of injuries.

Protective clothing, hazard communication standards, and material safety data sheets should be readily available for any employee who must handle such items. Evacuation plans should also be effectively communicated and practiced regularly.

Workplace Safety is Important

No one should feel unsafe in the workplace. Avoiding accidents at work is as important for employers as it is for employees. If you have suffered a workplace injury or illness, visit Accident Help Zone today to learn more about your rights.