No employer or manager wants to see their workers hurt. Besides the obvious and devastating human toll, it can also make a significant impact on workplace cohesion, morale, and eventually, the company bottom line. Warehouse pedestrian barriers and forklift protection barriers can only do so much, however.
In order to ensure the safety of your workers in the long-term, it’s important to be aware of the most common causes of workplace accidents and vigilant when it comes to the safety and well being of your workers.
Lifting items around the workplace, especially if not done with the proper care and training, can often lead to workplace accidents, particularly issues involving the spine and lower back. Ensure this doesn’t happen by training all workers on proper lifting technique.
Poor or dim lighting in the workplace can lead to trips and falls or other types of accidents. It’s critical to ensure workplace areas, particularly those with high foot traffic or involving hefty loads or machinery, are well-lit.
3. Violence / Bullying
Unfortunately, workplace bullying and even workplace violence is commonplace and one can often lead to the other. Workplace violence can lead to serious workplace safety incidents, particularly in warehouses and areas where heavy machinery is being operated.
4. Untrained Workers
Improperly trained workers are often a workplace accident just waiting to happen. When workers have not received adequate training to fulfil their duties, especially if those duties involve operating machinery or specialized equipment, accidents can happen and workers can get hurt.
5. Trips & Falls
One of the most common causes of workplace accidents are simply workers tripping or falling. This can be caused by poor lighting in workplace areas, improperly demarcated areas, lack of safety barriers and railings, or items that have not been properly stored and left out on the worksite.
Busy workplaces naturally lead to stress, but it’s important for a foreman or employer to do everything they can to limit stress levels on the job. Overly stressed employees are not as sharp as those whose stress levels are properly managed, which can lead to workers who aren’t looking out for themselves or one another.
Similar to stress levels, level of fatigue should be carefully managed. This means be careful not to overwork employees and managing rosters and work times properly to prevent workers who are fatigued on the job. Like stressed workers, fatigued workers won’t be on the ball as much as workers who are properly rested.
Whilst improperly trained or ill-prepared workers are common causes of workplace accidents, even more experienced or even veteran workers can still be prone to accidents. The saying goes that the most accident-prone workers are either those who’ve just started or those who’ve been at it a while and have gotten a bit too cocky.