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Even with the best safety management and culture accidents can still occur,  they happen in and out of the workplace and there can be many causes.  The idea of health and safety assessment and planning,  is to identify the risks so that they can be controlled and accidents can be prevented.

We will be looking at the different causes of accidents in more detail later on in the course but some examples of how they occur includes

  • 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 horseplay - 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

Environmental factors that increase the risk of accidents include chemicals, dangerous loads, or dangerous equipment or surroundings.  Care has to be taken with vehicles at work,  according to the HSE statistics between 2018 and 2019 there were 30 fatalities caused by being struck by a moving vehicle. The risk can be reduced by good housekeeping, road markings, speed limits and high visibility vests and by ensuring that everyone knows the rules.