Whether you are running a small local business or an international corporation, your employees – and the human capital they contribute – represent your organization’s main asset.
And, as an employer, it is part of your due diligence to provide your teams with a secure, modern, and healthy workplace where they can give their best in all safety.
In this guide, you’ll learn the common safety pitfalls to watch out for and three HR strategies to implement for a safer workplace.
10+ Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
Thanks to more stringent regulations, accurate risk assessments, and more efficient safety measures, the number of work-related injuries has been steadily declining over the past years.
Nonetheless, today, over 2 million employees still report non-fatal injuries each year, thus highlighting the always-current need for more efficient safety measures.
Some of the most common causes behind the majority of workplace injuries include:
- Exposure to harmful substances and agents – these include radiation, electricity, chemicals, and other harmful substances.
- Exposure to unhealthy environments – these include loud noises, extreme temperatures, unhygienic environments, oxygen deficiency, and drastic changes to air and water pressure.
- Exposure to bacteria and infections – such as Covid-19
- Overexertion or excessive physical activity – movements that can lead to non-impact injuries include lifting, turning, holding, carrying, throwing, and pushing.
- Repetitive movements – some repetitive movements might not involve strenuous movements but can lead to unhealthy posture and other health issues.
- Slips and trips – these sudden movements might not involve a fall, but they can lead to sprains, strains, and tears.
- Falls and jumps – falling from the same level, falling to a lower level, and jumping to a lower level are all voluntary or involuntary movements that can lead to injury and days away from work.
- Impact injuries – these can be caused by contact with objects and equipment
- Injuries caused by machinery and equipment – These take place when a worker or part of a worker’s body is struck, caught, squeezed, crushed, or pressured by equipment or material
- Stress, dehydration, fatigue, and burnout – between 80 and 90% of all workplace accidents are caused by human error, and the likelihood of these injuries increases when workers are stressed or fatigued.
Other common causes include violence from persons or animals and road accidents.
3 HR Strategies to Boost Workplace Safety
Several aspects come into play in creating a safer workplace, but the Human Resources department often sets the standards in terms of health, safety, and comfort for the whole company.
Here are some efficient strategies to raise the bar of workplace safety and reduce the risk of accidents.
Make Sure Employees Have Appropriate Protective Clothing, e.g. Footwear
It is every employer’s responsibility to provide specific, easily accessible, and high-quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to every employee.
For example, gloves, helmets, and the right shoes provide significant protection against some of the most common causes of accidents, including falls, trips, and getting struck by machinery or objects.
Create a Safe Work Environment
Exposure to harmful substances and environments represents the number one cause of workplace accidents. These account for over 36% of all work-related injuries and lead to an average of 13 lost work days.
So, if you are looking to reduce the number of injuries in the workplace, consider creating a healthier and safer environment that reduces employee risk by preventing exposure to loud noises, chemicals, and other harmful substances.
Pro tip – A healthy work-life balance and a reduction in employee stress and burnout are key elements of a healthy work environment.
Build a Safety-First Culture in the Workplace
When it comes down to improving workplace safety, the focus of HR and managerial departments should be on building a safety-first workplace culture from the top down.
Supporting this kind of workplace culture will render your risk assessments and compliance more efficient, but it will also help you create a safer environment for all with the collaboration and help of every stakeholder.
Picture source: Pexels
HR Future Staff Writer