Accidents can happen anywhere – including your workplace if you are not careful enough. The private sector employers in Australia reported more than 100 thousand nonfatal workplace injuries in 2012 alone. In fact, the nonfatal workplace injuries cost more than $62 billion in compensation to workers in 2016 according to the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. The top ten causes resulted in paying out more than $51 billion or 83% of the total cost burden. That is why every employer should take immediate precautions to prevent workplace injuries and safeguard their staff members at all times. This article provides information on the top 5 causes of workplace injuries in Australia.
Overexertion is the #1 cause of workplace injuries across the country. These accidents happen due to physical exertions such as lifting, pulling, pushing, throwing, and carrying objects. These types of injuries accounted for more than 25% of the national burden. Many employees don’t use the correct techniques when lifting large or heavy objects. This may result in injuries to their back, neck, and shoulder muscles. The employer should make sure to train the employees in the proper techniques of lifting and carrying heavy and large objects to prevent these types of injuries in the workplace. In fact, ergonomics or the science of adjusting the task at hand to fit your body’s needs are important in this regard. Ergonomics will provide relatively inexpensive injury prevention solutions for your employees. Some of the solutions include the proper training of lifting heavy equipment, providing short and frequent breaks for workers, and providing mechanical lifting equipment to ease the task at hand.
Slips and falls are the next big cause of workplace injuries in Australia. In fact, falls on the same level accounted for more than 16% of the total injury burden. Falls on the same level is defined as a fall to the same working or walking surface. Broken bones and fractures are some of the most common injuries resulting from slips and falls. The management should train the staff to recognize fall hazards and provide proper fall protection equipment to prevent these types of workplace accidents.
A fall to a lower level is another cause of workplace injuries in the country. Such a fall could result in serious injuries or even death at times. These types of workplace injuries accounted for 8.7% of the total injury burden in workplaces. More than 60% of falls to a lower level are from a height of less than ten feet. Make sure that you provide guardrails, safety nets, stair railings, handrails, and harnesses where applicable.
Getting struck by an object or equipment is another common cause of workplace injuries in the country. These types of accidents happen due to flying, falling, rolling or swinging objects. In such a case, the employee is stripped of his/her ability to see the object coming towards him/her to prevent the injury. These injuries account for more than 8.6% of the total cost burden. It is important that your employees wear the proper safety equipment at all times to prevent these types of injuries. You should also place proper signage and build awareness of the potential dangers in the workplace.
Bodily reactions are another cause of workplace injuries in Australia. These accidents account for more than 6.7% of the total cost burden. These accidents happen due to free bodily motions such as sitting, reaching for an object, slipping, standing, climbing, bending, and tripping without falling. The employee should be extra cautious when performing such tasks.
The aforementioned article provides information on the top 5 causes of workplace injuries.