There are a lot of dangerous things an individual can engage in, and one of the most common is also one of those least expected: going to work. When compared to the likes of skydiving, BASE jumping, snowboarding and other adrenaline-pumping activities, the simple act of holding down a job might seem tame.
While not all professions are created equally in terms of how dangerous they can be, workplace accidents actually account for more injuries and even deaths than most people realise; according to a recent article on the Huffington Post, 4,609 American workers were killed in workplace accidents in 2013 alone; lots more than in the UK but the statistic is indicative.
Luckily for both employers and employees alike, there are some simple precautions that can be taken to increase safety on the job. Below are some of the most common causes of workplace accidents, along with some easy-to-take steps to help mitigate the risk:
1) Signs – Make sure that you have added signs to different areas especially signs for out of bound areas even down to having proper signs for the toilet so that people do not wander into wrong areas where they could be injured. As a tip you can get great toilet signs and many others at
2) Machine Entanglements – As the name would suggest, this type of accident occurs when an individual is caught-up in the moving parts of a piece of machinery. Most common at jobs that require the regular use of heavy machinery, avoiding these accidents can be as simple as posting proper signage around machinery with potential for entanglement reminding individuals to be extra mindful of their surroundings (including loose clothing and jewelry).
3) Slipping & Tripping –Although it can sound trivial at first, instances of serious workplace injuries from slipping and / or tripping is one of the leading causes of workplace injuries. One of the reasons for this is that almost any worksite has the potential for an accident of this nature. Wet floors and uneven surfaces are common culprits, and in both cases a visible warning (such as a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign) can make all the difference.
4) Collisions – The name may conjure images of car crashes and meteor impacts, but in reality collision injuries are as simple as an employee walking into a well-cleaned glass window or door. While glass surfaces are not the only case of collision injuries in the workplace, they are certainly one of the easiest to avoid. Putting a visible decal, sticker, or other hanging object on a clear surface can act as a sign that subtly steers individuals around the barrier.
5) Falling Objects – While falling objects are not a danger in all work environments, they are a potentially lethal one when present. The head is a fragile thing, and even a lightweight object falling from the right height can be a devastating blow. Two of the easiest ways to lower the risk of falling object injuries are:
- Require that hardhats and other protective gear be worn in all areas where the potential for falling objects is present.
- Post ample signage at the entrances to areas where falling object risks are present, reminding individuals to don their safety gear. Additionally, signs reminding individuals to be aware of their surroundings in danger areas can be quite effective as well.
6) Vehicle Accidents – These accidents come in two distinct categories. The first is accidents that involve individuals who drive as a component of their employment, and may be involved in any number of traffic incidents while on the job.
The second is individuals being struck by vehicles operating at their workplace. For the former, offering thorough safe driving courses is a great way to keep employees safe on the road. For workplaces with vehicles operating in proximity to workers on the ground, posting well-marked signs to designate vehicle and human transit lanes is a great way to coordinate safe movements on the job.