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What are the main causes of workplace accidents?

The seven most common causes of workplace accidents include being overconfident, taking shortcuts, failing to perform cleaning and housekeeping duties, neglecting safety procedures, being distracted, starting a task before fully understanding what is required, and being underprepared.

These can combine in a workplace to create a dangerous workzone where people get hurt constantly; it's more likely that just one or two of those causes will be present, though. For instance, distractions can be common in workplaces where cellphones or other activities are allowed. Someone looking at a cellphone may not recognize that his shirt is caught in a machine or that he didn't turn off the breaker for an electrical unit that's being worked on.

Another person who is meant to sweep the floor might think it's okay to leave the task until the next morning; that is, until a coworker slips and falls on dust, dirt, or grime that has built up. Neglecting housekeeping can quickly become dangerous.

Neglecting safety procedures is another serious issue. If you don't wear your safety equipment, for example, and then fall and hit your head, that negligence likely lead to a more serious injury than would have taken place otherwise. If your employer doesn't require guards on equipment, this is a dangerous hazard that workers need to be aware of. It's against the law to expose workers to hazards like open machinery in most cases, because safety requirements determine which parts of the machines need to be guarded and how to use the machines safely.

In any case, when you're injured at work, you can usually receive workers' compensation to cover the costs of your injuries. The best way to avoid having to make a claim is to avoid getting hurt, though, so keep the above in mind.

Source: Safety Partners, LTD, "7 Most Common Causes of Workplace Accidents," accessed Aug. 02, 2016

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