A Clear And Present Danger: Accidents At Work Are On The Increase!

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Construction worker

Did you know that there has been an increase in fatal accidents in the workplace in the construction, agriculture and manufacturing industries? That means you could go to work expecting nothing more stressful than a meeting or two, and end up in the hospital by the end of the day! Suffering from an injury that affects your physical and mental well being as well as your ability to continue to work in the future. That is why you need to be up to speed on the types of accident that can happen in the workplace and what you can do about them. Read on to find out more.

Falls

Fatal injuries resulting from a fall is one highest categories in the HSE report. In fact, apart from accidents with vehicles, which we shall deal with below, it is the riskiest activity to do at work. But if you have to work at height or cross slippery surfaces as part of your job what can you do to minimise this risk?

Well, first of all, it’s vital that you insist on getting working a height qualification. As this will teach you about all of the safety procedures, you need to adhere to minimise any risk, both to you and to the others working with you. It’s also a good idea to always work with a harness when you are up high. Even if you are just going to be there for a short amount of time. This will provide an additional layer of safety if you do fall, slip or trip. Meaning an accident that may have proven fatal, end up being less serious.

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Regarding slip hazards, it’s vital to be aware of your surroundings. This is partly your own responsibility., but also that of your employer. That means they should provide signage pointing out any slip or trip hazards that are present in the work area. To remind you to be extra careful.

Of course, being cautious will only prevent some of the accidents that occur during the work day. Accidents that through no fault of your own, may leave you in pain, crippled, and struggling to make ends meet. In that case, it’s vital that you contact a personal injury attorney that can help you assess whether you have a claim against your employer. Something that means it was your employer’s fault you were hurt and not yours. This entitles you to compensation for both the hours at work lost and the injury sustained.

Vehicles

The vehicle category is the largest in the HSE fatalities at work report. That means more people die because of an accident with a vehicle than of any other cause. This really highlights how important it is to be extra careful when working with vehicles.

Of course, that is easier said than done, because there are many different type vehicles used in a work situation from forklift trucks, cars, and motorbikes to articulated lorries, and heavy plant machinery, such as cherry pickers, slingers, and excavators that are used on construction sites.

In particular, this plant machinery can pose a clear and present danger to safety in the workplace, and this is why it’s useful to get plant machinery qualification that deals with not only how to drive the vehicle, but also how to watch out for any safety issue of those people working around you. Remember plant vehicles are noisy and cumbersome meaning you don’t always have a good field of vision, and cannot always hear warning shouts. So having additional training in how to get around these limits and still be safe can literally mean the difference between life and death if an incident does occur.

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Machinery

Apart from plant machinery used on construction sites, which has been covered in the vehicle section above, it’s also necessary to be aware of safety procedures for fixed heavy machines, such as cookers, production lines, and the like. This is because of two things. First, these machines are usually oversized meaning the risk to health if they go wrong, or someone becomes trapped installed them in much more serious. Second, such machines are automated, so unless stopped manually they will continue to work, whether there is a serious problem or not.

That is why it’s vital to always be aware of the emergency stop button, as well as being able to reach it quickly. Also always familiarize yourself with the safety warnings to minimise the risk when working with this type of machine. It is also very important that there are enough workers on site, at any one time that have emergency first aid qualifications. As injuries associated with heavy machinery can be very serious and having someone there that knows exactly what to do to staunch blood flow, reduce the impact of shook on a victim, and prevent further injury can make all the difference to both the short term survival and long term recovery rate of the person involved.

Electrocution

Lastly, another important area concerning fatalities at work that needs to be addressed is electrocution. This is when the victim comes into contact with electricity. Something that can have a disastrous effect on the body. In mild cases, it can lead to thermal burns while in more serious ones it can result in heart attack, and even death, as provided by the HSE figures.

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So how can you stay safe around electricity? Well first of all, always test for electric wires in walls before attempting to hang anything with nails or screws. Also the electric must be shut off at the mains before attempting to make any alteration or changes to a circuit. Indeed safety procedures should always be headed to when working with anything that is electrified, and you must ensure you have the proper qualifications and training before attempting such tasks.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.