It’s easy to forget the potential threats that surround us in the workplace. Whether you work regular 9-5 days or shifts of varying length in different locations, the last thing you tend to be thinking about is serious accidents at work and tragic fatalities.
Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that the provisional figure for fatal injuries to workers for 2012/2013 stands at 148.
While this is 18% lower than the average for the previous five years, it still makes for concerning reading.
Of course, some industries carry a greater risk of accidents at work occurring. One such dangerous environment is the factory, where stringent health and safety measures are in place to minimise work accident claims.
Common factory accidents at work
As an industry, manufacturing really took off in the early part of the 20th century thanks in large part to the second industrial revolution.
Technological advancements led to widespread electrification of the factories while mass production became commonplace.
Given the complex machinery often involved in proceedings, it comes as little surprise that factories see a number of accidents and injuries at work. Common though they may be, they are also preventable.
Among the most frequent causes of accidents at work in a factory are simple slips and trips. Whether it’s a loose wire or industrial spillages at work, the hazards are varied and numerous.
Work-related injuries are also caused by heavy lifting. The consequence can range from minor tweaks and strains to permanently debilitating.
Of course, there is also the menacing presence of machinery which could malfunction at an given moment. While mechanised tools are a great help in terms of easing the workload, they can cause catastrophic problems when they go wrong.
Avoiding serious factory accidents
When dealing with chemicals and liquids, the factory ought to be lined with non-slip surfaces. Particular care ought to be taken with oil and grease.
In terms of manual handling, employees should be well-trained on techniques and the need for heavy lifting should be minimised as far as is possible.
Employers also have a duty to ensure that all tools are installed and maintained correctly and according to instructions. Otherwise they could soon be paying out significant sums in work accident compensation.
Safety equipment is of vital importance when avoiding factory accidents, especially when hazardous substances are involved while flammable products also pose further difficulties.