No one wants to be the example of accidents in the workplace on a safety representative’s OSHA slideshow. You know the one – the cringe-inducing, absolutely preventable injury.
Of course, that’s not the only reason you shouldn’t want to avoid these preventable injuries, as an untimely accident can hinder your livelihood due to long recovery periods.
With that in mind, it’s helpful to know what the most common accidents are and how to prevent them, which is why we’ve created this handy article.
Let’s get into the top 5 most common workplace accidents (and what you can to do safeguard yourself and your coworkers).
Top 5 Most Preventable Accidents in the Workplace
We’ve broken down each accident into how the accident happens and some great tips for preventing it.
A good general tip for any workplace is to invest in a professional OSHA compliance course (like EPICourses HIPAA Compliance Education Courses), so you never have to worry about your employees’ knowledge.
1. STF: Slips, Trips, Falls
When employees leave materials out, block walkways or spill liquids like oil or grease without cleaning them up promptly, every other employee in that space could suffer one of these accidents.
To avoid slips, trips, and falls:
- Clean up spilled materials right away
- Be aware of frequently-used walkways
Employees should also be wearing work-appropriate footwear to decrease their own risk.
2. Moving Machinery
Employee clothing can pose a problem with moving machinery, as can insufficient guarding.
When employees wear loose-fitting clothing or don’t put up long hair, these elements of their attire can become caught in machine parts. Alternatively, if the guarding for a piece of moving equipment is not installed properly (or at all), every employee using the machine can be caught in it.
Avoiding this is fairly easy: don’t wear too-loose clothing in the workplace, and always tie up long hair.
3. Falling From Height
Nearly every year, OSHA reports that hundreds of employees die due to falling from heights.
To avoid falling accidents in the workplace:
- Be sure to have spotters
- Use appropriate harnesses and guarding
- Always make sure only trained employees are on scaffolds or ladders
And as always, never ascend to heights not intended by the equipment you’re using (ie. stacking a ladder on a box).
4. Injury From Vehicles
Most commonly, vehicular injuries occur as a result of insufficient sight lines and signage.
Preventing these accidents in the workplace involves:
- Using appropriate preventive signage/demarcation for workers (cones, workers with signs)
- Providing vehicle training to all employees
- Clearly delineating vehicle and pedestrian lanes
In these cases, both the driver and the employees have a responsibility to keep themselves safe.
5. Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI)
These accidents in the workplace come about as a result of overexertion of specific parts of the body.
Avoiding RSI involves:
- Always using the proper lifting technique (do not bend at the waist)
- Don’t lift objects that are too heavy
- Take breaks when necessary
- Perform stretches when your job requires repetitive motion
RSI is somewhat unique because it can affect any person in the workplace (on the line or the office).
Now that you know the most common and preventable accidents in the workplace, you can safeguard yourself (and your fellow employees) from harm.
While you’re here, check out some of our other blog articles on improving your health at work, or contact us with questions and concerns.