A workplace is where we spend most of our waking hours earning a living, pursuing dreams, and improving the world. Unfortunately, thousands of workers across the world experience injuries each year due to accidents in their workplaces. Although some severe accidents can be prevented with higher safety standards, many workplace injuries happen without warning or are caused by human error.
What Causes Workplace Accidents?
It’s essential to understand the causes of these incidents so that employers can take action to prevent them from happening again. In this post, we’ll break down how workplace accidents occur. So let’s start with the definition of work-related accidents.
What is a Work-Related Accident?
A work-related accident is any unintended event that occurs during work (excluding domestic work) that leads to injury or condition. It can also be the Dangerous Occurrence, the Occupational Disease or:
- Traffic accidents occur at the workplace or during work, e.g., while commuting on company transport.
- The Accidents that are incidental to or from work, e.g., slipping and falling within the workplace but when not performing the official work duties.
- Conditions of a medical nature, such as heart attacks or strokes, may be triggered by work.
In thinking about accidents, it is critical to concentrate on the accident phenomenon rather than the outcome. Accidents have primary causation and secondary causation. The Primary causes are unsafe acts and the conditions;
The secondary causes usually take the form of system failures. The primary cause of an accident—the unsafe act or the condition—is not fundamentally the most prominent feature. Secondly, the causes will persist unless action is taken to correct them. As noted above, accidents directly result from unsafe acts or conditions. Unsafe acts include:
- Working without authority;
- Failure to warn others of the danger;
- Using dangerous equipment;
- Using the wrong equipment;
- Failure to issue the control measures.; and
- Horseplay and the like.
Unsafe Conditions Include:
- The Inadequate or missing machine guards;
- Defective tools or equipment;
- The Fire hazards;
- The Ineffective housekeeping;
- The Excessive noise; and
- The Poor ventilation and the lighting and others.
- The secondary causes of the accidents include social and management system pressures.
Management System Pressures Include:
- The Financial restrictions;
- The Lack of commitment; and
- The Lack of policy, standards, and/or training.
The Social Pressures Include:
- The Group attitude;
- The Trade customs;
- The Tradition;
- Society’s attitudes and risk-taking; and
- ‘Acceptable’ behavior in the workplace.
Employers need to understand the primary and secondary causes of workplace accidents so that they can develop strategies to prevent them from occurring. Employers must ensure that the right safety measures are in place and that employees receive adequate training to protect their health and well-being.
Furthermore, employers should be aware of the social and management system pressures that may be contributing to unsafe situations in their workplaces. By being proactive, employers can significantly reduce the risk of accidents in the workplace and create a safe environment for their employees.