In 2021, there were over 2.6 million non-fatal workplace injuries and nearly 5,000 fatal ones.
Workplace accidents occur on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean that you should accept them as an employer. There are plenty of things you can do to mitigate the risk of accidents at work. Caring for employees and creating a safe work environment should always be a top priority.
Lowering the number of injured employees starts by figuring out how injuries tend to happen. In this post, we’re going to look at some of the most common causes of workplace accidents so that you can take the steps to avoid them.
A healthy workplace is a happy and productive one. If you can manage to put an end to workplace injuries, you’re going to have a more successful business now and in the future.
Slips and Falls
Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common workplace injuries that we see every year. The thing with slips and falls is that they can occur in any environment at any time, whether it’s a retail shop or a warehouse.
A slip could be the result of a wet floor without a sign or improper footwear in a slippery warehouse. A fall could happen when someone trips on some debris that wasn’t properly cleaned up. All incidents can cause potentially devastating injuries to your workers and major headaches for you as the employer.
Your employees should all be trained in how to safely navigate your particular workplace. There should also be safety measures in place and a health and safety manager on site to advise you.
Overexertion and Fatigue
Overexertion happens when employees are forced to do something beyond their physical capabilities. Whether that has to do with lifting, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing depends on the workplace. Often, these types of problems result in back, neck, arm, and leg injuries.
It’s so important to give your employees the proper means to do their jobs according to OSHA safety protocols. Ergonomic equipment and things like lift trucks and carts can go a long way in preventing these kinds of injuries.
Another common problem has to do with workplace fatigue. If your employees are showing up to work without adequate sleep or if they’re being pushed too hard on the job with long hours, costly mistakes are going to happen. Every employee should feel comfortable telling superiors when they don’t feel alert enough to complete a task.
One of the more common problems in warehouse and factory environments has to do with poor lighting. If your workers can’t properly see what they’re doing, it can make a seemingly safe and easy task difficult and dangerous.
Invest in lighting, no matter what the work environment is. Even office workers can suffer at the hands of poor lighting, so do your research on ergonomics and implement worker-friendly lighting.
Stress and Other Mental Health Struggles
Workplace injuries aren’t only physical. More and more, we’re seeing the implications of stress in the workplace with employees going on stress leave and filing workers’ comp cases because of stressful work environments.
Stress affects the body and mind in a number of ways. It can lead to physical health issues and various distractions in the workplace. Most important, however, is the effect that stress has on people’s mental health.
If you’ve got mental health issues with your employees, it’s time to reevaluate the way you do things. Caring for employees with the resources to maintain and even boost their mental health will keep them happier and more dedicated to the job.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Many of the workplace fatalities that we mentioned earlier happen on the road. With thousands of commercial vehicles out at any given time, the chances of accidents happening are always high.
Not only do you have to worry about your own workers’ health on the road, but you have to worry about other drivers and pedestrians as well. A lawsuit from your commercial vehicle causing an accident can be financially debilitating.
You can’t control what other people do on the road, but you can equip your drivers to always do the right thing. Hiring drivers with experience and thoroughly training new hires will go a long way to preventing motor vehicle accidents.
If you have hazardous materials in your warehouse, your employees need to know the proper way to handle them. Injuries of this nature can be long-standing and physically devastating. Providing material safety sheets, training, and protective equipment is imperative for a safe work environment.
Workplace violence is a rarity, but when it occurs, people can get seriously hurt. If you’ve got workers that are in conflict with one another, you need to keep them separated until a resolution is reached.
OSHA has particular guidelines for avoiding physical altercations. It can be helpful to invest in human resources for situations like this. It might sound tedious, but providing therapy for workers to better work together can end up saving you a lot of money in the end.
Heavy Equipment Accidents
Anytime there’s heavy equipment in the workplace, there’s potential for injury. In construction, for instance, heavy equipment accidents account for a huge number of deaths per year. They also account for a large percentage of workers’ comp payouts.
While training is crucial in preventing these accidents, you also need to minimize distractions on the job. A distracted worker should never operate dangerous machinery.
Keep Workplace Accidents to a Minimum
Now that you know some of the most common workplace accidents, you can put measures in place to stop them. One of the most important things you can do is equip yourself with all of the necessary tools to maintain a safe work environment.
At KHA, we believe that safety data management should be easy. Try out our online SDS to gain access to online chemical inventories and keep your business running more efficiently and safely. Contact us today to schedule a demo and change the way you track your hazardous materials.