Construction, mining, agriculture, hospitality or whatever industry you are employed to, work-related injuries are common to all. Different forms of work accidents occur while being involved in occupational duties which leads to various types of injuries. Occupational injuries could be physical or even mental.
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Work related injuries may occur outside the company’s premises as long as it is in the course of work. Workplace accidents do not only cause undue stress to the employees but also cause hardship to the employers and should be avoided as much as possible.
The impacts of workplace accidents on productivity of employees cannot be overemphasized as the harmed worker may have to take some time off work. Also, other employees may feel unsafe to work leading to loss of motivation and productivity. All these ultimately have a negative impact on businesses ,not forgetting the fact that serious legal and financial implications may arise from such accidents, hence, preventing accidents from happening are the best ways to keep businesses running effectively.
Below are some of the common work related accidents and how they can be prevented-
Slips, trips and falls: These are common in a work environment that involves ladders, roofs, scaffolding, spills and slippery surfaces. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 25% of all work injuries are caused by these.
Slips are occasionally caused by wet or oily surfaces, spills, improper footwears, loose rugs or icy floors and steps (weather hazards). The employee should provide footers that are suited for the site and also ensure quality floor surfaces.
Trips, which may be due to poor lighting and uneven walking surfaces can be prevented by ensuring proper lightning and good walking surfaces.
Employees however, should be on the lookout and report such chances-spillage, obstruction and clutter, that could predispose them to these accidents.
Fire hazards: These are mostly caused due to carelessness with combustible materials. Inorder to avert this, the company should train its workers on how to properly handle such materials. It should also provide them with standard protective gear that must be worn otherwise the workers will face penalties that may be severe as losing the job.
Struck by falling objects: people call it ill-luck but it is negligence on the part of the employer if the workers get hit by a falling item. The injuries sustained from such accidents can be very nasty but it can be prevented by providing adequate and suitable storage cases for work equipment.
Repetitive Strain Injuries: Any repetitive motion of the joints may cause RSI. Employers should encourage their workers to take breaks in between work and ensure compliance with proper use of equipment. Repetitive motion leads to physical and mental fatigue which causes cognitive impairment. This culminates in more accidents.
Exposure to toxic substances: the company should provide its workers with safety equipment and protective gear when working in situations that exposed them to this substance in amounts that are above the threshold. exposure to these fumes may cause skin irritation and eye diseases.
Muscle strains and overexertion: This is mostly common with construction workers or people who carry heavy objects. According to a trusted source close to 35% of all work-related injuries can be traced to overexertion. Hence the companies should provide the workers with machines that can ease their job, and invest in training them on how to properly lift objects.
- In brief, general workplace accidents may be prevented by,
- Installing proper lightning and ensuring good ventilation.
- Promoting safety awareness and education.
- Enforcing good housekeeping and frequent routine checks for safety hazards.
- Enforcing proper attire and use of PPE’s.