Accidents in The Workplace:
Accidents occur when you least expect, they occur without warning and are never a good thing. The best and only way to remain safe at the workplace is to take all the necessary precautions and also make sure that you are fully aware of the correct method going about things. For example if the task is to operate a crane, you need to make sure that have the training necessary to do so. Besides which it can’t hurt to read up regarding the possible things that can go wrong while operating a crane. It is true that some workplaces are more hazardous than others. The number of reports of constructions accidents are higher than accidents at other offices. But that doesn’t mean you should not take all the necessary precautions.
The fact of the matter is that ignorance can also sometimes lead to accidents; since if the worker is not aware of the hazards and consequences of his carelessness he is likely to takes things lightly. Take a chemical lab for example. If the laboratory technician is unaware of the consequences of not handling the toxic chemicals correctly he is likely to make fatal mistakes. On the other hand the worker who is fully aware of the dangerous consequences of mishandling the toxic chemicals will think twice before being careless. As the saying goes “Fear is the foundation of safety”.
Accidents or Injuries in the workplace can occur through many hazards:
Workplace accidents and injuries occur due to many different reasons and it is important to identify them early. There are several ways to identify these workplace hazards as listed here:
- A walk through conducted at the workplace is an ideal method of detecting the potential hazards.
- Communicating about the risks factors with the workers.
- Learning from past failures is the one the best things you could be doing make sure such accidents never occur again. It is also a good idea to have a good read of the accidents that have occurred in similar situations in the past.
- It is one thing to check a workplace hazards and it is another making sure it is safe and secure on a daily basis. There is no alternative for regular maintenance and doing a quick check of all things concerned prior to starting it. In addition to which continuous monitoring can be good too.
Furthermore it is necessary to maintain a record of the detailed process which includes a manual handling regulations and the code of practice for manual handling too. Besides this it is vital that a risks involved and found are properly accessed. Here are a few typical risk factors:
- Type of the Work: If the job involves working in a fixed posture for a prolonged period of time it can greatly increase the risk of injury.
- The workplace arrangement: A workplace needs to fit the task it is designed for. Under no circumstances should a workplace be selected without properly accessing it. For example a cramped or poorly designed workplace will increase the risk of injury since it forces the people to work in awkward postures.
- Weight of an object: A lot of care should be taken while lifting heavy loads since it increases the risk of injury.
- Location of an object: Special care is required to be taken when dealing with sensitive material or heavy material that can easily injury you and place you in a hospital care for a month or so. There is a correct method of doing everything and usually there is only one correct method. Doing things in any other way can have a very bad outcome.
- Duration and Frequency: Repetitive tasks can quickly take a toll especially when done for a long duration of time. If the tasks handling heavy objects the problem is further compounded. Again there should be an official guidelines book that is maintained by the company. This is one place you where you should be able to find the correct method or operating instructions for the task at hand.
- State of the Object: Make sure the equipment beings used are of good quality and have some certified standard. When dealing with situations that place the life of many people at risk opting for sub standard equipment is out of the question.
- Unconventional loads: In an ideal world there exists a proper system to the heavy objects that are to be loaded. But in the real world if often happens that the loads are difficult to grasp and can even be slippery.
- Dealing with people and animals: When dealing with other elements that are alive like other people and animal it is vital that the design consistency be maintained.
Having correctly accessed the workplace hazards it is the duty of the employee to take the necessary steps advised by the workplace safety consultant or the person responsible for the assessment. If proper methods are followed to identify the hazards as well as when the hazards are assessed in a thorough manner we can figure out how to prevent accidents in the workplace? Here is a list of a few common factors that require attention or change:
- Changing of the task: If a hazard has been identified and after assessing the risk it is found to be highly risky to perform certain task then it is the duty of the employer to modify the task. It should be modified such that the risk is eliminated after which it should be reassessed for any additional hazards.
- Nature of object: At time it is found that the object is not fit for transfer due to its size, weight, or improper packing of toxic substance. Such objects should be sent back for repacking either into smaller packages or more protective packing as the situation warrants.
- The Workspace itself: The workspace should always be fit for the task at hand. Besides using ergonomic furniture and similar methods it is also essential to take care of some more basic issues like not crowding a workspace. The workspace should never have more people that is optimally required. It may be possible to squeeze in the furniture to save space but packing more people than recommended in a small workspace is not advisable.
- Making use of mechanical aids: Whenever the task demands it, it is advisable to make use of mechanical equipment like wheelbarrows, conveyor belts and even cranes and forklifts.
- Changing the nature of the task: Do not hesitate to change the nature of the task. For example on an extremely hot day if the workplace environment is very hot and humid, there should be a system in place to detect this and make the necessary modifications to the work schedule. This may mean increasing the frequency of the breaks and providing more breaks as well as making sure the worker remain hydrated and even cutting down the working hours for that day.
- Training them: Ignorance is the biggest culprit. Educating the workers on the hazards involved, how to remain safe and training them on the correct method carrying out their work is what will save lives.
Common workplace accidents:
Accidents do occur at a workplace no matter how many precautions we take. Here are some disturbing statistics that were made public. As per these statistics in the year 2012 approximately 4600 workers were fatally wounded in workplace accidents. That figure is rather high especially since it was as recent as only 2 years ago. But that is not all, more than 250 miners lost their lives in an accident that occurred in a mine in Turkey. This occurred as recent as May 2014 in an incident that involved miners from all around the world besides Turkey.
When accidents do occur they are often on a large scale and take many lives. Though it is hard to be prepared for every kind of accident at times a little timely maintenance or proper training can go a long way as can knowledge of some of the common workplace accidents. In case of the recent mining disaster Turkey the sad truth is that repeated requests for reviewing the safety of the project were ignored. Here is a list of some common workplace accidents:
- Slip and trip injuries
- Back injuries due to lifting objects or bad working environment
- Forklift truck incidents.
- Scaffolding accidents
- Vibration white finger
- Asbestos related disease
- Industrial Dermatitis disease
- Electrical accidents at workplace.
When an accident occurs:
There are more precautionary measures taken these days than ever before. There are several safety agencies that help keep the professional workplaces safer that before. Safety First is one such firm that helps make sure all concerned are properly trained and all the workplace hazards are properly identified. They also run regular drills to keep the employees alert and prepared with emergency procedures in case accidents do occur. But when accidents do occur here are some of the common things to remember that can make sure your receive the appropriate cover and support:
- Inform your employer first: In case of an accident the first thing to do is to make sure you receive immediate treatment from the first aid kit at the workplace. Depending on the seriousness of the injury it may also require you to be transported to a hospital on an emergency basis. However under any circumstance it is vital that you inform the employer about the incident at the best and earliest suitable opportunity. In order to stake a claim and for the claim to be valid it is required that the injury or disease be reported to the employer close to when the incident occurs.
- Seeing the Doctor: When you do make a claim for compensation due to workplace injuries, your application will be assessed on bases of the fact that it was reported to the employer on time as well as the doctor’s report. Thus it is not only important to visit a doctor but it is also a must that you make sure the doctor submits his report of findings to the appropriate authorities as well.
- Reporting the Injury to the WSIB: The WSIB (Workplace safety & Insurance Board) needs to be informed about all the workplace accidents in Canada, especially those for which you intend to stake a claim. There is a special “Form 6” made available by the WSIB for situations like these. There are several advantages of doing this as the first available opportunity. The incident will be fresh in your mind and this will help you fill up the form in a more thorough manner.
About Safety First Consulting:
Accidents and injuries that do occur at a workplace are by no means a good thing but they are a fact. There are statistics released every year on this topic and the number of fatal incidents are too high for comfort. Thus Safety First is one firm that is determined to put an end to such loss of life. They have several certified and well qualified as well as experienced safety consultants with a trained eye who can help secure your work place as well as provide all concerned with the necessary training and general awareness.
Safety First consulting workplace health and safety ontario plays an important role in making sure every workplace is safe. Even when it comes to high risk workplaces like a construction site, their highly trained and certified safety consultants take up the task to ensure that everyone present at the workplace is aware of the importance of staying secure and not taking any unnecessary risks.
The professionals at Safety First Consulting can show you how to navigate the sometimes technical and often confusing OSHA regulations. They can help you figure out what regulations apply in your workplace and what you need to do to comply. Just know About us, take one of our classes, or request a Contact us form.
About the Author
Sophie Moore is a Digital Marketing Analyst, in charge of many digital marketing projects that involve SEO, Social Media and mobile web strategy. Moore has a background in IT, strong experience on website development and web interface, degrees in both traditional and digital marketing at Duke University, North Carolina.
Moore has a wide experience of internet projects and keeps herself up to date with the latest technologies and trends. Moore always explains that social media is her passion, SEO a motivation and a dynamic challenge where she is involved every day.
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