Potential Hazards in the Workplace and How to Avoid Them

Slips, trips, falls, cuts, sprains, broken bones, and more are all unfortunately common scenarios of workplace accidents. The latest statistics put forth by the US Bureau of Statistics states around 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses are reported by private industry employers. The numbers are also quite upsetting for fatal deaths, with 5,250 workers dying on the job in 2018. The costs related to workplace injuries and fatalities are estimated to be around $161.5 billion.

Before we mention some actions that can be taken to help prevent workplace accidents, let’s go over some more statistics and facts. 

What is a Workplace Accident?

OSHA, which stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, defines a workplace accident as an “unplanned event that results in personal injury or property damage.” OSHA is a government entity designated to help keep workers, employees, and workplaces safe. 

Industries Most at Risk

There are more statistics to reveal the most common types of workplace accidents, the top cause being road accidents:

  • Transportation incidents – 40%
  • Falls, slips, trips – 17%
  • Violence and other injuries by persons or animals – 16%
  • Contact with objects and equipment – 14%
  • Exposure to harmful materials or environments – 10%
  • Fires and explosions – 2%

Jobs and Industries

Some occupations are more at risk. These include fishery, farming, and forestry. They account for 20.9 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers. These jobs are followed by transportation and material moving professions. It’s not surprising that the construction and transportation industries are the most prone. 

The fact remains that anyone can be a victim of a workplace accident. Anything as simple as a computer or cable wire can cause an accident.

Workplace Fatalities by State

Texas, being of high population, leads the way in the most fatalities. The following shows workplace deaths by state.

  • Texas – 534
  • California – 376
  • New York – 313
  • Florida – 299
  • Georgia – 194

In South Carolina, men, in most cases, from different ethnic groups (mainly Latinos or Hispanic) and male adults 65 years or older are those most at risk to be involved in a workplace fatality accident. Part of the reason why this happens can also be explained by the numbers, with 43.5% of farming, fishing and forestry workers, and 32.3% of construction workers being male and of Hispanic background.  If you’ve been involved in a workplace accident in South Carolina, it’s imperative that you contact a workplace injury attorney who is familiar with local laws and can guide you in taking the needed legal actions to get proper compensation. There are many things you can be eligible for that you might not know about, and hiring a local attorney is the best way to make sure that you rightfully get what you deserve. These could include compensation for:

  • Medical treatment, including being reimbursed for a doctor or hospital visit as well as mileage coverage
  • Partial replacement of missed wages
  • Permanent debility
  • Physical injury (including loss of limbs)
  • Disfigurement such as scarring

The numbers mentioned are important because it means workplace accidents are all that common. It doesn’t take much to be able to prevent some accidents by doing the following:

Identifying hazards: Anything that could potentially harm someone is considered a hazard. In the workplace, this could be anything from a wet floor to faulty machinery. A company needs to categorize the hazards that surround their workplace. These hazards could be biological or chemical, or a poorly set up workstation. 

Risks: The risks account for how often a worker comes into contact with a hazardous situation. You might be a daredevil outside of work, but if you’ve not been trained properly to do certain tasks at work, don’t do them and inform your supervisor of that. If you’re not sure how to do something, ask; ask a lot of questions before proceeding and request the proper training to do a task.

Incorporate safety plans: Depending on the industry, companies must identify their most vulnerable areas of work that can cause injury and employ a safety plan. For example, slip and falls can easily be prevented in offices with carpet floorings. 

Provide proper attire and gear: Personal protection of your employees and workers is essential by continuously checking, that people are using protective gear or wearing the necessary attire. 

Report possible hazards: If you notice something at work is a potential hazard, alert your immediate boss. Don’t remain silent about things that could cause injury to you and your workmates.

Stay alert: Over exhaustion, or fatigue are other underlying causes of accidents. Be alert and awake when at work and while handling particular tasks.

The numbers concerning workplace accidents aren’t good, but not surprising either. There are some things you can do yourself or you can inform your supervisors, to help lessen the risk of an injury happening. However, if it can’t be helped and the company you work for is at fault and you get involved in an accident, contact an attorney who will make sure you are justly compensated. 

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