There is often a perception, among both workers and employers, that accidents can only happen in the sort of workplaces we tend to think of as dangerous: but ask a personal injury lawyer like construction sites, factories, or just about anywhere if you happen to be a firefighter. And of course some places of work contain more hazards than others. But ask any personal injury lawyer – like – and they will tell you that accidents can happen anywhere. Read on for some background on some of the most common types of workplace accident, what you should do if they occur, and what you and your employer should do to reduce the risk.
1 Slips, trips and falls
This umbrella term covers one of the most common causes of injury in the workplace: falling down, whether that is on a floor that is slippery and wet, down a flight of stairs, or tripping over an object. Such an injury might seem minor, but it can have serious repercussions, particularly if the injured party hits their head.
2 Falling from height
There is obviously a greater risk of this type of injury among those workers whose jobs involve working on rooftops or climbing ladders; but this can happen in an office if someone is simply reaching for an object on a high shelf, or changing a lightbulb. In fact, the risk of an accident occurring could be even greater in such a workplace, if the right equipment and training is not in place.
3 Falling objects
This can have particularly serious effects if it happens in a warehouse, if large quantities of heavy stock fall on a worker – which is why the use of appropriate protective equipment such as a hard hat is necessary. But nasty head injuries can happen even in a retail or office environment if something falls from a high shelf. It is vital to train workers on how to store items safely, and provide them with the space to do so.
4 Walking into things
We’ve all done it: walked into a corner of a table, or a glass door that we thought was open. It’s easily done, particularly when we’re busy and distracted by the demands of the working day. But if a seemingly minor accident like this happens at work, any injury that results is the employer’s responsibility. It is well worth taking the time to minimise and label any hazards in the workplace.
5 Vehicle accidents
Again, these can happen anywhere – but a vehicle crash or impact counts as a workplace accident if the person involved is driving for work. It can be particularly hazardous when driving specialised vehicles such as lorries or forklift trucks. Regular vehicle safety checks are the employer’s responsibility – and employees must speak up if they see something unsafe.
6 Machine entanglement
This particular type of accident is of course most prevalent – and most potentially dangerous – in a factory environment, where it can cause serious injury or even death. Protective clothing, equipment and training are essential.
‘Health and safety culture’ is a common complaint. But centuries of injuries and illnesses due to unsafe working practices have resulted in legislation that your employer needs to follow in order to keep you safe. If they are putting you or your co-workers at risk by cutting corners, contact a personal injury specialist at a Halifax law firm.