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Accidents are not always preventable, and they can be caused by many things. Accidents happen in and out of the workplace and there are many causes. With Health and safety planning and assessments, the risk is identified and assessed therefore preventing accidents occurring.

We will look at these in more detail in other videos but some common causes of accidents include:

  • Slips, trips, and falls - these are common in all workplaces resulting in minor or major injuries
  • Bad manual handling techniques - lifting or moving something causes injury or causes longer-term medical problems
  • Being hit by machinery or vehicles - this can cause serious injuries or even death 
  • Cuts and bruises - these can be from poor handling, being hit by an object, walking into an object
  • Poisoned by chemicals and harmful substances - there are many chemicals, dust, vapours that could cause injury to an employee
  • Workplace stress - tiredness and reduced concentration which can lead to accidents
  • Not following the workplace policies and mucking about - this can lead to many problems which are usually avoidable
  • Problems with excess noise - this damages hearing and balance and leads to long-term problems
  • Poor lighting - can lead to falls and accidents as well as eye strain problems.
  • Human behaviour can often be the cause of accidents because of insufficient training, mucking about in the workplace, not being capable of doing the job, and lack of concentration due to tiredness or feeling unwell.

Environmental factors include working in an unsafe manner. These can be controlled by ensuring we work in a safe area that is well lit, has no trip hazards, and is well ventilated.

The final group of causes are environmental factors which are the risks found in the workplace like chemicals, dangerous loads, or dangerous equipment or surroundings. Care has to be taken with vehicles at work. In 2007-2008, 65 people were killed and more than 1800 seriously injured in this way. The victims were hit by vehicles, crushed as the vehicle rolled over, hit with an object falling off of a vehicle, or themselves falling off a vehicle. The risk can be reduced by good housekeeping, road markings, speed limits, high visibility vests, and ensuring that everyone knows the rules.