The Most Common Workplace Accidents
There’s no doubt that workplace safety has improved considerably in the UK over recent decades. However, there is no room for complacency. The fact is, accidents still occur and, when they do, the consequences can be serious for workers and employers alike.
It is no surprise then that many organisations are making use of NEBOSH health and safety courses to help ensure that their personnel have the knowledge and skills required to minimize risk in the workplace. Here are some of the most common accidents that firms have to guard against.
Slips, trips and falls
Unsurprisingly, accidents involving slips, trips and falls (STFs) occur the most frequently. Indeed, these incidents accounted for over a third (35%) of employee injuries in the UK in 2013-14, according to figures provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). They also made up more than half of all reported major injuries.
STFs resulted in an estimated 1.5 million lost working days during this 12-month period too. Most worryingly of all, falls from height were the most common cause of employee deaths, accounting for 29% of fatal injuries to workers.
Handling accidents happen all too frequently too. This broad category refers to everything from injuries caused by lifting, pushing or pulling loads to trapped fingers and cuts from sharp objects. HSE figures show that these incidents accounted for nearly a quarter of reported injuries in 2013-14 and they resulted in approximately 909,000 lost working days.
Although less common than STFs and handling accidents, incidents involving workplace vehicles also make this shortlist. It’s also important to note that injuries which involve being struck by a vehicle are more likely to be serious. Last year, 16 workers died as a result of these events. Meanwhile, in total, 2013-14 saw 1,545 workplace vehicle accidents take place, and 1,010 of these resulted in employees taking more than seven days off work to recover.
Taking safety seriously
It may be impossible to entirely eliminate risk at work, but by taking the issue of safety seriously, companies stand to reduce the dangers facing personnel. This is beneficial for all concerned. Most importantly, it can reduce injury rates among workers. It can also help employers to avoid legal problems. Furthermore, there’s a strong business case for effective risk management. Safe work environments tend to be more productive, which is good news for companies’ bottom lines.
Given the importance of risk management, and taking into account the impressive range of safety courses and other resources now available to firms, organisations have no reason not to take this issue seriously.