Want to know what the 10 most common workplace accidents are that you should be avoiding? Discover more, here…
Whether it be a fall, a trip, a fallen object, a papercut, or a chemical explosion, workplace accidents occur no matter what industry you’re in. No win no fee compensation claims can be sought for anyone who has experienced an accident at work that wasn’t their fault. That said, the same can’t be said for every accident as, despite all the correct safeguards and safety equipment, accidents still happen.
In this article, we’ll be highlighting 10 of the most common workplace accidents that occur all over the globe. By signposting even some of the most trivial ones, we hope to show you why you should always tread carefully, wherever you work. Take a look…
1. Falls, Trips and Slips
You might laugh when your colleague trips over the edge of a rug, or very nearly falls down the stairs. That said, this is no laughing matter for some people.
Slips, trips, and falls can occur in a number of areas of any workspace. Whether that be down the stairs, out of windows, on wet floors, or on misplaced objects, the potentials are endless. This is why signposting any hazards and taking care when moving around any space is crucial.
2. Walking Into Things
Similar to our first pointer is walking into things; again, something you may laugh at now. That said, walking into something that you didn’t see can be extremely harmful, especially if they’re heavy objects. It may lead to broken noses, broken toes, and injuries elsewhere.
3. Injuries by Falling Objects
Falling objects is another cause of injury in almost any workplace. Objects may fall from a great height, for a huge number of reasons. Some examples of this occurring may include:
- Objects falling off a roof, which will likely be fatal to any unsuspecting passer-by.
- Things may fall from the ceiling, for example light fixtures.
- Builders may accidentally drop objects off scaffolding.
4. Inhalation of Toxic Fumes
Irritant, corrosive and harmful gases, sprays, mists, fumes, vapours, and liquids can come in all forms in many workplaces. Although toxic fumes may not even be visible to the naked eye, they can wreak havoc on the lungs. This is why wearing sensible safety gear, like goggles, masks, and ventilators when working with these chemicals, is paramount.
5. Loud Noises
The effects of loud noises on hearing might surprise you. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Loud noise is particularly harmful to the inner ear (cochlea). A one-time exposure to extreme loud sound or listening to loud sounds for a long time can cause hearing loss.”
This means that construction workers working with loud machinery consistently may be at risk of hearing loss. What’s more, workers who are exposed to high levels of noise a couple of times may be affected too.
6. Muscle Strains
Muscle strains can occur in the workplace for a number of reasons. These mainly occur in workplaces where manual labour is involved. In fact, handling, lifting, and carrying objects was responsible for 19 percent of workplace injuries between 2019 and 2020.
It may also occur in workplaces where physical activity is required. For example, athletes, lifeguards, and person trainers may have their muslces injured frequently.
7. Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
Although we’d expect that most workplace injuries occur in construction and engineering roles, that’s not always the case. Of course, RSI can be caused in all areas of the body by repetitive actions in most jobs. That said, RSI in the wrists and arms is a known symptom which can be caused by the use of keyboards day in and day out.
The NHS has provided some brilliant tips o their website for avoiding RSI. Some of these include:
- Adjusting your chair height
- Using predictive text and autocorrect
- Using keyboard shortcuts instead of a mouse
- Changing the settings to slow your mouse down
8. Lacerations and Cuts
Another classic injury that can occur in both construction sites and offices are lacerations. These can be from kitchen knives, staplers, scissors, envelope openers, and box cutters, amongst many other things. On construction sites, it may be down to more industrial equipment, such as saws, screwdrivers, and the like.
Ultimately, it’s important to use any sharp object with care. What’s more, making use of protective equipment, like gloves, may be necessary for more intense work.
Burns at work can occur for a number of reasons. This might be from the handling of harmful substances, or actual heat burns. Some examples of where these might occur could include:
- A cleaner getting bleach burns from the cleaning fluid.
- A chef getting burnt whilst cooking.
- A construction worker becoming severely sunburnt whilst working outside.
- An office worker taking too-hot food out of the microwave.
- A lab technician dropping chemicals onto their hands.
10. Acts of Violence
Finally, we can’t forget about the all-important issue of injuries caused by one another in the workplace. This might occur in places where alcohol is served and money is exchanged with the public, or where tension runs high due to overworking and stress.
You might be surprised to learn that, out of 5,147 fatal workplace injuries in the US in 2017, 458 of these were caused by intentional injury from a person. It’s important to note that many of these incidences go unreported, so the amount of these is likely to be higher.
What Other Accidents at Work Have we Missed?
As you can see from this article, there are hazards everywhere, no matter what sort of workplace you work at.
This list is by no means exhaustive, which is why it’s really important for all workplaces to have health and safety precautions in place. It’s also wise to seek the advice of a health and safety professional who can guide you and your team towards the safest environment possible.
1 – Vladyslav Cherkasenko, https://unsplash.com/photos/lkJOpbBxeuM
2 – Diana Polekhina, https://unsplash.com/photos/rKJoUsqmSs4
3 – Lucian Alexe, https://unsplash.com/photos/p3Ip8U0eNN
–Aaron Allison – personal injury and workers comp lawyers