Most Common Accidents in Factories

By  //  June 22, 2021

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Workplace accidents are a considerable strain on the economy of the UK. While widespread health and safety culture is helping to beat back the problem, there are a few kinds of workplace which are inherently more hazardous than others. Factories, with their heavy machinery and loud noises, are especially troublesome. 

Let’s take a look at some of the more common accidents in factories, and what can be done to minimise their impact.

Slips, Trips and Falls

According to the Health and Safety Executive’s Labour Force Survey, slips, trips and falls are the most common kinds of accident reported under RIDDOR, at around 29%. 

It’s often easy to reduce the likelihood of slips and falls. The floor space must be kept clear and free from loose objects, and high-grip footwear and surfaces must be insisted on.

Epoxy flooring is something that can help in this respect, as it’ll make the task of cleaning that much easier. But we should also think about procedural and cultural changes. If every worker falls into the habit of clearing up the space wherever they see a potential hazard, rates of slips and falls are likely to fall.

Machine Accidents

The British Safety Council estimates that around 1,300 UK employees are hospitalised each year from forklift accidents alone. But a forklift truck is just one kind of heavy machinery – and in a factory environment, there may be dozens of them.

Of the people who do end up in hospital, a fraction may go on to suffer from medical negligence, compounding the problem. If a worker is seriously injured, they may find themselves unable to work for a significant spell, which can put financial strain on everyone.

We can reduce the risk of this happening by conducting regular risk assessments, especially when new machinery is being installed.

RSI

Repetitive strain injury is a problem associated when performing the same task over and over again. This isn’t a problem that occurs suddenly, but one which builds steadily over time. We might get around this by rotating staff out of strenuous tasks, and by providing equipment which minimises the strain. Emphasising preventative physical therapy outside the workplace might also help to minimise the problem.

Toxic Fumes and Loud Noises 

The factory can be a place where dangerous gases and excessive volume can inflict significant damage over time. Providing the appropriate PPE should be considered an almost obligatory means of quelling this particular issue.

Falling Objects

If a factory features multiple levels, then there’s every chance that an object might one day fall from one to the other. This is something that’s more prevalent on construction sites, but the solution is the same: mandating the use of protective headgear.