There’s no denying the fact that workplace safety has improved over recent years. However, risks do remain. According to figures provided by the Health and Safety Executive, 28.2 million working days were lost in the UK in 2013-14 due to work-related injury and illness. Meanwhile, 133 people were killed while performing their duties over this 12-month period.
To help minimise the dangers that exist in working environments, firms can take advantage of the health and safety courses offered by specialist training providers like SHEilds. It’s also important for managers to be aware of common risks. With this in mind, here are ten of the top work-related accidents to watch out for.
1) Slips, trips and falls
Slips, trips and falls are a frequent occurrence in a range of settings. Slippery floors and the presence of hazardous objects are often the cause of these accidents. In many cases, the incidents are not serious. However, sometimes victims suffer broken bones or head injuries. The accidents are particularly dangerous if they occur at height.
2) Back and neck strains
Another common workplace problem is back and neck strains. People can suffer these injuries when they lift heavy or awkwardly shaped objects.
Burns are a big problem too. These accidents can occur in a range of settings, including factories, laboratories, garages and kitchens. They can be caused by both chemicals and sources of heat.
Cuts are another top work-related accident. These injuries are especially common in industrial settings and kitchens.
5) Vehicle crashes
Another major cause for concern is vehicle crashes. Accidents involving cars, lorries, forklifts and other vehicles frequently occur in warehouses, car parks and on the highways.
Workers can also be hurt in incidents that involve objects toppling over. For example, if the shelving used in warehouses is not secured properly or objects are not stored in a suitable manner, items can tumble down on employees, potentially causing serious injuries.
7) Machine entanglement
In manufacturing and processing facilities, machine entanglements pose a risk. These injuries tend to be most serious when heavy equipment is involved and the danger is greatest when unsuitable machine guards are used.
8) Toxic inhalation
Accidents involving the inhalation of toxic substances also occur. When people are dealing with poisonous chemicals, there is a danger that they will breathe them in. This can cause problems with workers’ lungs, skin and eyes.
Physical assaults represent another danger to workers. Those most at risk of suffering injuries in this way are frontline personnel who deal with the public, such as doctors, emergency service personnel, security guards and shop workers.
Another cause for concern is needlestick accidents. This term describes incidents where a person’s skin is accidentally punctured by a hypodermic needle or a sharp medical implement like a scalpel. The puncture wound itself may not be a problem, but there is a risk that these objects are infected.
Of course, these are just ten categories of workplace accident. There are many more for firms and individuals to watch out for.