Common workplace accidents and how to avoid them

BizAge Interview Team
Workplace accident

The most dangerous industries in the UK range from construction which has the highest number of fatalities to healthcare where workers are more prone to long-term illness. However, accidents can occur in any working environment whether you’re outside on a farm or inside in an office.

In addition to the harm they cause employees, workplace accidents can harm businesses too. Where the employee is not at fault, companies can face legal personal injury claims for financial compensation that can be costly in terms of reputation as well as monetary expenditure.

With this in mind, and considering that it’s your legal duty as an employer to provide a safe working environment for employees, it’s worth learning the common workplace accidents and how to avoid them.

Top 3 workplace accidents and how to avoid them

  1. Slips, trips and falls

It might surprise you to know that slips, trips and falls (on level surfaces) account for over 30% of non-fatal workplace injuries in Great Britain each year. Having cluttered pathways, failing to repair broken flooring and leaving spills uncleaned are all examples of how a company can be held responsible for these kinds of accidents.

Ensure to the best of your ability smooth and spacious walkways and the immediate identification and eradication of any spills that could cause slippery surfaces. Bear in mind that weather conditions such as rain or ice could compromise the environment.

  1. Lifting heavy objects

Whether you’re consistently loading and unloading products or it’s an occasional requirement of your job, lifting heavy objects can cause injuries undisputedly connected to the workplace. Injury from lifting is usually due to one of three reasons: the loads are too heavy, you’re handling heavy objects too often, or you have poor technique that’s placing stress on weak muscles and joints.

There is no maximum legal limit for manual handling in the UK, but general guidelines to stick to are 16kg for women and 25kg for men. Educate employees on the best way to lift heavy loads – such as lifting from the legs – and ensure plenty of rest between strenuous manual lifting tasks.

  1. Repetitive strain injury

Every job involves repetitive movements in some form, and just these simple actions can have painful and sometimes debilitating consequences over time. Soreness, stiffness and swelling from frequent repeated movements is a condition known as repetitive strain injury (RSI).

Rest is important in treating RSI, so insist on employees taking regular breaks and, where possible, switching back and forth between different types. Investigate tools and equipment designed to protect musculoskeletal health such as ergonomic computer keyboards to meet individual needs before cases become serious.

Written by
BizAge Interview Team
March 26, 2024