What Causes Accidents?


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Do you know anyone you could describe as being “accident prone”? Maybe it’s a friend who consistently trips over his own feet, or your sister-in-law who seems to be all thumbs.

While the jury is still out on whether being accident prone is a real thing, several factors can contribute to an excess of on-the-job injuries. Some, like stress, fatigue, job dissatisfaction, anger, emotion, and personal problems can create short-term situations that can result in a chance accident.

Other factors, however, can be considered more commonplace and work-related, and, therefore, more likely to cause frequent accidents. Knowing what contributes to preventable, on-the-job injuries can help you learn how to protect yourself and co-workers.

The following are four frequent types of workplace injuries and tips for prevention:

Physical overload

  • Lifting too much or improperly
  • straining
  • overreaching
  • bending
  • twisting
  • other movements that make your body move in ways it wasn’t designed to do

These types of injuries are easy to avoid by using proper techniques. Don’t lift loads beyond your capability. Lifting or reaching tasks that require you to be in an “unnatural,” strenuous position, should prompt you to reposition yourself to avoid strain, ask for assistance, or use mechanical help.

Impact accidents
Being hit by or hitting an object

Be aware of your surroundings and watch for potential hazards. For example, never walk under scaffolding or cranes. Personal protective equipment—hard hats, gloves, eye protection, etc.—can help fend off some incidents.

Falls
Falls are a common cause of injury both at home and at work.

  • Make sure your footing is firm.
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes.
  • Slow down.
  • Clear obstructions and make sure walkways are well lighted.
  • Follow all safety guidelines for using ladders and scaffolds.
  • Use handrails on stairs.

Machine accidents
These are typically caused by getting caught by moving parts.

  • Never use a machine you’re not trained to use.
  • Never wear jewelry or loose clothing around machines that rotate, slide, press, etc. Use hair nets to control long hair.
  • Be sure guards and shields are in place, and proper lockout procedures are used.

Watch what you’re doing, where you’re going, and what’s happening around you. In other words, be safety aware. Doing so can help you eliminate worksite injuries, which will help you and others be safe at work.

Safe@Work is brought to you by Federated Insurance®. This article is for general information and risk prevention purposes only and should not be considered legal or other expert advice. It is not a guarantee that the risk of loss will be eliminated or reduced. Qualified counsel should be sought regarding questions specific to your circumstances. The information is accurate as of November 2014 and is subject to change.

Federated Insurance
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