Types of Accidents at the Workplace

by Neil Kokemuller; Updated September 26, 2017

Accidents are a fact of life in many places of business. Some organizations have a higher propensity for employee accidents based on industry. However, virtually every organization has employees who suffer minor to major injuries from fluke accidents or careless errors. Companies with high-risk jobs often offer training to help employees avoid common accidents.

Slips and Falls

Slips and falls are the most common types of workplace accidents, according to New York workers' compensation attorneys Markhoff and Mittman (M&M), in their article "5 Most Common Workplace Accidents: Are You At Risk?" Wet floors, debris and obstructions all contribute to this type of workplace accident, which M&M say account for one-third of all incidents. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bruises, cuts, strains and sprains are among common injuries that can result from falls.

Heavy Lifting

Many workplace accidents occur as a result of an employee lifting or moving something heavy. Back and muscle injuries are among the more common injuries that can result from manual work activities. Sprains and strains can also result from these activities. In jobs where heavy lifting is a common requirement, employers typically advise job applicants to only apply if they're capable of moving a certain amount of weight regularly. Some jobs may require the use of safety equipment, such as lifting belts or other support tools.

Electrical

Electrical accidents are common in workplaces where employees routinely work on electrical problems or perform work where significant electrical usage is involved. Electrical injuries can range from very minor shocks and burns to major electrical shocks that could potentially lead to a fatality. Safety warnings for workers facing danger are important, as is ample training.

Chemical

Though not as common as other types of workplace accidents, chemical hazards can cause burns, explosions and serious injuries in work environments where chemical use is common, according to M&M. Employees who work with chemicals should take all precautions necessary to protect their skin and prevent chemical inhalation, when applicable. Some jobs require that employees wear gloves or protective clothing to avoid skin contact with chemicals.

About the Author

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.