- 1 Common Workplace Accidents in the United States
- 2 Prevent Workplace Accidents With These Handy Tips
To keep people safe at work, it is important to prevent workplace accidents were possible.
Each year there are more than 4.6 million accidents in workplaces across America.
More than 1.5 billion people make up the American workforce.
These people work in a huge range of industries, from education to healthcare to construction work.
Each plays a vital role in keeping the United States running as we know them.
That is why keeping the workplace and everyone who works in it safe is vital.
Fortunately, there are several simple steps that you can take to ensure this is done.
Not familiar with them?
Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Read on to find out exactly what you need to make your workplace a safe environment.
Common Workplace Accidents in the United States
Some industries, such as transportation or construction, are more susceptible to certain accidents.
However, across the United States, there are some common workplace accidents to keep in mind.
Knowing these could help you to avoid them in the future.
Slips, trips, and falls are a leading cause of accidents across the country.
These can happen because of unsecured flooring or unidentified trip hazards.
They can also happen if you are not careful when moving around the workplace.
These accidents often lead to strains, sprains, and broken bones.
However, hitting your head during a fall could leave you with a traumatic brain injury or concussion.
Machinery malfunctions or improper use of machinery is another cause of workplace accidents.
This could be large construction machinery.
However, not using your computer properly can also create a fire or electrical hazard in the workplace.
Fortunately, you can protect yourself from many workplace injuries through easy, everyday practices.
Let’s take a look at these.
Familiarize Yourself With Safety Procedures
Every workplace should have safety procedures in place.
However, these only work if everyone is familiar with them.
That is why it is important to be aware of yours.
These might include:
Knowing how to operate machinery properly.
Knowing where the fire exits are.
Remembering where the fire collection points are in the area.
Making sure you turn off any computers or equipment properly at the end of the day.
Being aware of hazards and hazard signs around the office.
When you join a new office, you should always make sure that you familiarize yourself with all the safety protocols.
But you should also check-in for any updates to office safety procedures.
Knowing outdated procedures won’t do you any good in an emergency.
If you do not feel like you understand the safety procedures for your workplace, ask someone to explain them to you.
It may be that your entire office needs a refresher course in keeping the work environment safe.
By raising a query, you could save lives!
Safety procedures are in place for a reason, so knowing them is not enough.
You should also stick to them at all times unless told otherwise by an authoritative figure.
This means that you should always wear the appropriate safety gear in designated areas, for example, and never prop open fire doors in your office.
Actions like this may not seem like major issues, but they can create serious hazards to yourself and to others.
One of the most important things you can do in the workplace is to be thorough.
Taking shortcuts on tasks often means that you are not sticking to all the necessary safety procedures in place.
While you may get the job done faster, you are not doing so in a safe manner.
If you take your time, you will still get the job done, and you don’t put anyone in unnecessary danger.
Stay Alert in the Workplace
Unfortunately, just being thorough about your actions in work is often not enough to prevent all workplace accidents.
You also have to rely on your colleagues and anyone else who uses your work environment to keep it safe.
However, you should not merely assume that they will do this.
In fact, you should always remain aware of potential hazards in and around you.
For more help identifying these, take a look at some common workplace accidents.
Don’t Rush in Work
How you move around the workplace can also have a huge impact on your safety.
It is important to be aware of this, as most people do not even notice it.
When you rush or run, this has a huge impact on your reaction times.
It will take you much longer to stop when you’re running than when you are walking.
Because of this, if you come across a hazard when running, it can be extremely dangerous.
You may not have time to stop and end up tripping or falling.
However, rushing in the workplace also creates a new hazard in the environment – you.
When you rush or run anywhere, you also increase your chance of running into one of your colleagues.
To make sure that you are never in an unnecessary hurry, make sure you leave plenty of time to get from A to B.
This could mean leaving your desk for a meeting five minutes earlier than normal.
Or it could mean aiming to be in the office early, so you do not have to run to your desk to be on time.
Little actions like these seem small, but they can have a huge impact on your ability to make the workplace a safer place.
Report Any Hazards
One of the most important things you can do when it comes to how to avoid workplace accidents is reporting hazards when you notice them.
When you work in the same environment every single day, it is easy to become used to problems or quirks.
You may even start to accommodate them into your daily routine!
Ignoring them can also feel easy if you work with a lot of people.
You can start to think “that must be someone else’s job” or “well no one else has reported it.”
But try to break that mentality.
Reporting a hazard in your workplace could stop it from causing a serious accident further down the line.
The type of hazards you should look out for can vary a lot, depending on your working environment.
However, common ones to look for include:
Unsecured wires that create a trip hazard of people.
Lack of proper safety signage in necessary places.
Faulty electronics, including faulty snack or coffee machines.
Loose or lack of banister railings on staircases.
Lack of hazard tape on step edges or low ceilings.
Poor ergonomics, such as low desks or office chairs that offer weak support.
Lack of proper training on safety protocols.
Lack of health and safety equipment.
No designated first aid officer for your workplace.
No first aid kit in the office.
In some work environments, such as construction, the list of safety precautions may be longer and more specific.
This is a good place to start.
If you notice anything in your office that is becoming or could become a potential hazard, report it as soon as possible to the correct authority.
It is also a good idea to chase this up to ensure that action has been taken to fix this.
Look After Yourself
Most people do not realize it, but looking after yourself in the workplace is also vital when it comes to preventing workplace accidents.
As with running in the workplace, when you become tired or unfocused, you also become a hazard.
This is worrying when you think that 54% of Americans report getting six or fewer hours of sleep a night.
This leaves a huge portion of the workforce feeling tired and unfocused on four or more days every week.
This is why it important to make sure that you take proper breaks when you are in work to relax and refocus.
Pushing through can seem tempting, but that is when mistakes are more likely to happen.
You could knock into someone, spill a drink on machinery, or forget to turn your computer off.
These may seem like minor incidents in the grand scheme of things, but they can have serious knock-on effects in any workplace.
This is also why what you do outside of work can have an impact on your safety in the workplace.
.In the evening or on weekends or holidays, make sure you take the time to relax and destress. That way, you will return to work feeling refreshed and focused.
Prevent Workplace Accidents With These Handy Tips
As you can see, there are lots of things you can do to help prevent workplace accidents.
Keep these in mind, and your workplace will be safer for everyone!
For more information on looking after yourself at home and work, check out our health and wellness blog.