The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Accidents While At Work
With more than five thousand people dying as a result of a work-related accident last year all over Europe, it’s important to know your rights. As outlined in the infographic below, created by Hussey Fraser, the most common accident type are slips, trips and falls. Slips, trips and falls often happen as a result of inadequate flooring, environment and footwear. Manual handling, unsafe systems of work, machinery and falling objects are also common areas where accidents occur. Lifting and manual handling injuries accounted for 33% of all non-fatal accidents in Ireland last year. As a result of the frequent accidents occurring across Ireland and Europe, accident books are now compulsory for all businesses. Any accident that takes place at work, no matter how small, must be recorded in this book.
Accident books are mainly for the benefit of employees. They provide a valuable record of what happened just in case you require time off work or need to claim compensation at a later stage. However, recording accidents also aids the employer. It helps them see what is going wrong and take action in order to prevent accidents taking place in the future. Let’s take a look at this informative infographic that offers advice on what to do when an accident at work occurs as well as giving us all of the up-to-date facts and statistics on accidents in the workplace in Ireland and Europe.
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ACCIDENTS AT WORK
Accidents at work affect thousands of people every year in Ireland. Depending on your job, there are a range of different hazards at work. From a warehouse to an office, there are many potential risks.
- 5000 deaths in EU last year were a result of accident in the workplace.
- Thursday is the most common day for workplace accidents.
- January is the safest month of the year.
- July saw the highest number of accidents throughout the year.
TOP 5 ACCIDENT TYPES IN IRELAND
- Slips, trips, and falls
- No. of pay-outs: 271
- % of claims: 33.6%
- Lifting/Manual handling
- No. of pay-outs: 74
- % of claims: 9.2%
- Unsafe system of work
- No. of pay-outs: 72
- % of claims: 8.9%
- No. of pay-outs: 65
- % of claims: 8%
- Falling objects
- No. of pay-outs: 56
- % of claims: 6.9%
SLIPS, TRIPS, AND FALLS
95% of all major slips, trips, and falls result in broken bones. Slips, trips, and falls can result as a happen of:
- Inadequate flooring
- People not following health and safety procedures
Slips and trips account for 35% of all major injuries in the food and drink industry.
MOST COMMON INJURIES AT WORK IN IRELAND
- Sprains and Strains
- Back Injury
- Head Injury
- Neck Injury
- Repetitive Strain Injury
HEALTH AND SAFETY AUTHORITY FINDINGS IN 2014
- Manual handling injuries account for 33% of all non-fatal accidents in Ireland.
- 10,719 inspections and investigations were carried out by Health and Safety Authority.
- 18,442 people experienced work injuries requiring an absence from work of four or more days in 2013.
- 7,431 non-fatal injuries were reported.
- 56 work-related deaths.
- 26 of 56 fatalities reported were self-employed (21 of them farmers).
- 22.9 Fatality rate in agriculture is 22.9 per 100,000.
MOST FREQUENT INJURIES AT WORK IN EUROPE [Graph]
- Wounds and superficial injuries
- Dislocation, sprains, and strains
- Concussions and internal injuries
- Bone fractures
- Burns, scalds, and frostbite
- Multiple injuries
- Poisoning and infections
- Traumatic amputations (loss of body parts)
- Effects of sound, vibration, and pressure
- Drowning and asphyxiation
- Effects of extreme temperatures, light, and radiation
- Other and unspecified
THE MOST DANGEROUS INDUSTRIES
- Lorry Driving
OTHER RISKY PROFESSIONS
- Extreme Sports
- Private Security Guards
- War Zone Journalists
- Circus Performers
STEP BY STEP ACCIDENT PREVENTION
- Identify hazards and individual at risk
- Conduct an initial evaluation of potential risks in the workplace and the individuals who might be exposed to potential harm.
- Prioritize risks.
- Consider the severity and probability of the identified hazards as well as the work required to remove the risk. Prioritize them in order of importance.
- Follow up with preventative measures.
- Once you have decided on the appropriate steps to help reduce or eliminate the risks, take action by putting in place measures as dictated by your priority plan.
- Regularly review your assessment
- To ensure your safety plan is always up to date, review it at regular intervals and make amendments whenever changes or unpredictable accidents occur.
- Report accidents.
- Employers are obligated to report any serious work-related accidents, diseases, and dangerous incidents to their local authority.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR SAFETY AT WORK
- Create a company handbook.
- Creating detailed formal policies and outlining the procedure for accident prevention helps when accidents occur. Make sure you include how an employee reports an incident as well as useful information such as equipment instructions.
- Appoint a safety officer.
- Put a member of your staff in charge of workplace safety. Work together on a plan that will ensure every staff member adheres to the safety handbook.
- Communicate your safety message.
- Make sure your workforce knows that their safety is a crucial concern by utilizing memos, posters, etc.
- Practice what you preach.
- Should an incident occur, make sure you respond quickly, and effectively.
- Ask for suggestions.
- All employees are aware of different hazards – ground workers may have more awareness of hazards than senior staff members. Ask your team for suggestions improving workplace safety.