How to Avoid Common Workplace Accidents
Did you know that 106,260 serious worker’s compensation claims were lodged in 2016-17? That’s nearly double the number of claims lodged in 2014.
Contrary to popular belief, you are just as likely to have a workplace accident if you work in an office, or in the community sector, as you are as a labourer or in the construction industry.
What are the two common mechanisms for workplace injury?
Body stressing (37%), followed by falls, trips and slips (24%).
If you work in the same position, perform manual handling or repetitive motions, you may be at risk. Common types of injuries can include:
- Spinal injuries
- Knee/shoulder strains
- Sprained wrists/elbows
Ask yourself these questions:
Do you often lift or move heavy objects?
Do you always have to bend and turn?
Do you work in a cramped position?
Do you repeat motions?
Do you work in the one position?
If you answered yes to any of the above, then you are performing a type of manual handling. Manual handling is any activity that involves moving, lifting, lowering, pulling, pushing, holding or restraining. It may also include long term awkward postures, or repetitive motions.
Some preventative action you can take to prevent body stress injuries include:
- Ensure the team have training in manual handling techniques
- Utilising team lifts, or mechanical advantage for heavy objects and loads
- Schedule time to get up and move or stretch after long periods of sitting
- Check that office stationery such as chairs and desks have the appropriate safety rating
Slips, Trips and Falls
If you work in an environment where there are hazards such as cables or tools, wet floor, machinery or large objects in your work area, then you may be exposed to a higher risk of injury. Common types of injury include:
- Bruises and cuts
- Dislocations and bone fractures
- Strained muscles or ligaments
- Sprained joints
Ask yourself these questions:
Is my work place cluttered?
Are there objects in walkways?
Are you constantly picking things up and putting them away?
Are welfare facilities messy?
Do you work on an uneven surface?
Do you work near exposed edges?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you may be working in an unsafe work area. Hazards are the thing that can cause injury, where risk is the likelihood of it occurring. If you are working on an uneven surface, cluttered with tools or cables, then the likelihood and risk of an injury occurring, increases.
Some preventative action you can take to prevent slips, trips and falls include:
- Maintain a clean and tidy workplace
- Use containers for tools and objects
- Utilise signs to identify hazards, such as wet floors or exposed edges
- Implement a safety system to protect workers from the risk of falls
- Barricades or tape can restrict access from unauthorised or unqualified personnel
In 2016-17 by nature of injury, 41% were traumatic joint, ligament and muscle-tendon injuries, followed by 16% musculoskeletal and connective tissue diseases.
By ensuring that your workplace has the correct safety management system, you can actively implement controls to reduce the hazards in your workplace, and decrease the risk.
At 3CIR, we offer a range of courses in Work Health and Safety, Security and Risk Management as well as Human Resources and Quality Auditing. These courses can aid you in ensuring you and your colleagues remain safe at work.
If you are a current or former military personnel, then get in touch with us today to find out about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) service to fast track your new career today.