Common Causes of Workplace Accidents

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There are at least 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported each year in the United States. Several reasons cause workplace accidents, and it is important to report every accident to help prevent risks and avoid similar accidents in the future.

Unsafe acts, negligence, unsafe working conditions, and several other actions or lack thereof are responsible for most workplace accidents. Workers who sustain injuries while at work are entitled to compensation, and your lawyer can help you file your claim.

You may want to get in touch with an injury lawyer from a reputable Virginia law firm to get legal advice on filing and protecting your claim. These are some of the most common causes of accidents in the workplace.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

This accident occurs when there is a tripping hazard on the floor, such as electrical cords, spillage, disorganized floors, and more. It is common in factories, offices, or warehouses. The accident can also occur if a worker fails to use the proper warning signs to inform their workmates about a hazard such as a slippery floor when they are cleaning.

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Depending on the location or the accident’s nature, slips and falls can cause severe injuries or fatalities. 

Lifting

Employees can tear a muscle, hurt their backs, or sustain a sprain in the course of lifting a box or any other object that is too heavy for them without proper training or using the right lighting techniques. 

Injuries sustained in this type of accident can cause long-term spine, neck, or back issues. It is important to seek medical treatment if you suspect that you have sustained a lifting accident, no matter how trivial it might seem to mitigate the injury and avoid complications. 

Handling Hazardous Materials

OSHA gives directives on handling chemicals and toxic or hazardous materials that all employers and employees should adhere to. This includes proper storage, wearing the right personal protective equipment (PPE), and more.

If the employer fails to provide their employees with the right PPE or an employee fails to handle hazardous substances well or use the right PPE, they can be at risk of an injury. 

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Fall From Heights

This accident occurs when an employee fails to use the right ladder techniques or sufficient scaffolding while working at a height. If you sustain any injury while working above the ground level, you can claim compensation. However, fall injuries could be fatal or cause life-long injuries if the employee was very high.

Fatigue

This is a common cause of workplace accidents. Working while tired, mainly when operating a machine, is very risky. It is important to take adequate breaks to avoid exhaustion and stay alert at all times.

Not getting time to recover from tough manual labour or strenuous activities can lead to fatigue-related workplace accidents. When an employee is tired, they tend to take shortcuts to finish the task at hand. This reduces safety and increases the chance of injury.

Acts of Workplace Violence

Some occupations, such as being a security guard, require an employee to interact with the public, which can be risky should the crowd or people become violent. Disagreement and violence among coworkers can also cause injuries should the workers engage in a physical fight.

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Stress

If an employee is having a bad day at home or work, they might not be in the right mental state to use safe work procedures. As a result, they can be easily distracted and cause an accident. In addition, stress can foster negative effects mentally, physiologically, and emotionally. Therefore, it is crucial to foster a supportive working environment to help handle and avoid stress.