Global health and safety

The workplace accident is one of the most frequent circumstances that exist. In fact, according to the International Labor Organisation, almost 1 million accidents of this type occur every day, around the world. This is why workplace safety is such a high topic on the global agenda. Occupational accidents can be defined as mental or physical injuries that a worker may suffer as a result of their work activity.

What is a workplace accident?
Workplace accidents are injuries that workers can suffer while, or as a result of, carrying out the activities of their work, including:

  • Accidents suffered while going or returning to work.
  • During the performance of usual work at the time and in the workplace.
  • Performance of a job that is not usual for the person, but that is ordered by the company in the interest of proper functioning.
  • Union delegates or union positions, when moving to exercise the functions of said positions.
  • Diseases that the person contracts because of the performance of their work. In this case, it must be proven that the disease is exclusively caused by the execution of their work.
  • Diseases suffered previously, which are aggravated by a work accident.
  • Accidents suffered in rescue acts, when this is related to the job performed.

In general, they occur due to dangerous conditions that exist in equipment, machinery, work tools and facilities. But also, due to a bad attitude, unsafe acts or the misinformation of workers when performing their functions. Specifically, they can be given by:

  • Carrying out the established work methods and instructions incorrectly.
  • Inappropriate use of hands or other parts of the body, placing them in dangerous areas of work equipment.
  • Not using personal protective equipment.
  • Use of machinery and tools in poor condition or without the means of protection that are part of them.
  • Lack of good equipment maintenance.
  • Lack of order and cleanliness in work areas.

Workplace accidents: which are the most common?
According to the figures, the sector in which the most occupational accidents are suffered is in the services sector since it is also the one with the most occupation.

However, proportionally, construction, industry and agriculture are the areas with the most serious accidents. In these fields, heavy and dangerous machinery is used, or it involves working at heights, or other risky situations, etc., which increases the risk of injuries such as falls, blows or cuts.

The types of workplace accidents that are most suffered are:

  • Falls from heights.
  • Cuts and wounds.
  • Slips and trips.
  • Hits.
  • Contact with electrical installation.
  • Overstressing and muscle injuries.
  • Injuries from incorrect postures.
  • Stress and anxiety.

How is an occupational accident handled? Compensation
When there is an accident at work, workers have certain rights over the company: they can claim compensation for a workplace accident. A worker has the right to receive compensation as long as, after a work accident with injuries, they are permanent and do not prevent him from carrying out his work (but if they cause aesthetic or functional damage).

Prevention is the best solution for a workplace accident
To avoid workplace accidents in companies or work centers, a Prevention Plan must be applied, and through appropriate techniques, procedures and the best prevention practices, such as:

  • Respect the preventive and corrective measures of the risk assessment.
  • Have adequate means and people capable of acting in an emergency.
  • Always wear safety equipment. People who work in a factory, for example, have a higher risk of suffering an occupational accident because they work with heavy machinery. Therefore, the correct use of helmets, shoes, gloves, etc. is essential.
  • Maintain an occupational hygiene program to control working conditions.
  • Mark and accurately indicate dangerous areas, such as electrical contact, toxic or flammable material.
  • Create a training program in which workers receive adequate training about risks to their health and safety, preventive measures, first aid and emergency procedures, to improve people’s preventive culture.

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