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Why do workplace injuries occur? The 5 most common causes of workplace accidents

Many people take a safe working environment for granted, assured in the knowledge that accidents in their role are incredibly rare. However, becoming complacent while carrying out everyday tasks can mean that even workplaces with less obvious hazards can pose risks to employees, no matter what their roles are.

Accidents can take place anywhere, and more serious incidents can have a long-term physical and emotional impact on those affected, while also having significant financial implications for the business itself.

With this in mind, in this blog post, we will explore the five most common reasons why injuries occur in the workplace.

1) Overexertion and tiredness

Most types of physical activity will become tiring if they are carried out over a long period of time. Accidents relating to physical exertion, such as lifting, bending, pulling, pushing and kneeling are incredibly common, particularly if employees do not take regular breaks.

However, even jobs that do not require individuals to lift heavy loads can also pose a risk. Regularly lifting lighter loads, such as files and boxes, can be detrimental to a person’s health if proper lifting techniques are not practised.

2) Slips, trips and falls

According to the Health and Safety Executive, an average of two employees die every year as a result of a slip, trip or fall on the same level. This figure increases considerably when taking into account falls from height and other types of related incidents. However, slips, trips and falls are some of the easiest workplace accidents to avoid.

Very often, negligent employees leave file drawers open or fail to use the proper equipment when reaching for items, which as a result, puts lives at risk. Loose electrical cords and wires can also pose a significant risk in the workplace.

It is vital that all employees are aware of any spills, wet floors or slippery surfaces when walking around the workplace, while also taking steps to prevent them.

3) Distractions

It is an unfortunate reality that distractions play a significant role in a worker’s day-to-day safety. If a person is carrying out the same task for a long period of time, boredom can cloud their judgement.

Accidents regularly occur when employees are distracted, for instance, tripping over clutter or walking into things when using their mobile phone. This can be avoided by allowing employees to take regular breaks and enjoy a change of scenery throughout the day, ensuring they go back to their jobs refreshed and able to concentrate.

4) Messy work environments 

Client-facing businesses are often better at keeping their workplace tidy, compared to those that do not regularly have visitors. Housekeeping is generally a good indicator of a company’s attitude towards safety and quality, which means it is particularly important for all companies to ensure their environments are tidy.

Poor housekeeping has the potential to create a considerable number of hazards, which can lead to accidents. On the other hand, a well-maintained workplace sets a good example and promotes a healthier working environment for everyone.

5) Cutting corners

It can often be tempting to take shortcuts in order to get jobs done faster; however, doing so can lead to a whole host of hazards. Cutting corners in a way that reduces safety will undoubtedly increase the risk of injury.

For this reason, members of management should roll out proper procedures for all tasks on a regular basis to ensure that members of staff are fully aware of the risks associated with shortcuts.

If you have been injured at work due to the negligence of another employee, contact JMW Solicitors today by calling 0345 872 6666 or visit our Contact Us page. Our workplace accident specialists are on hand to guide you through the claims process.

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