Working in an industrial setting exposes people to countless hazards. The nature of the industry means that employees are often working with powerful machines or in environments where they could fall or be struck by falling objects.
Whether you or a loved one works in transporting materials, manufacturing or warehouse storage, you should be aware of some of the most common – and sadly, deadly – accidents that can occur in this line of work.
Types of industrial accidents
Industrial accidents can include:
- Slipping or tripping
- Electrical or chemical burns
- Being crushed by or in between something
- Being struck by falling objects
- Getting stuck in machinery
- Toxic exposure
The causes of industrial accidents typically involve one of four elements: individual mistakes, mechanical failures, failed oversight and environmental hazards.
Individual missteps can mean failing to wear protective gear to using improper techniques for lifting or moving heavy objects. These are often isolated incidences.
Mechanical failures often include broken equipment or defective parts that cause machinery to malfunction. This can happen when parties do not adequately repair or maintain machines or when the designer or manufacturer has produced an unsafe product.
Inadequate supervision or oversight in the industrial setting can result in employers hiring untrained workers or negligent owners who fail to comply with state and federal regulations to protect employees on the job. Often, this type of neglect occurs when employers or managers attempt to cut corners to save money.
Environmental hazards for industrial workers might involve toxic exposure to harmful chemicals or work in areas with excessive noise or extreme temperatures. These hazards can be unavoidable in certain settings, but workers should have proper training and protection to keep them safe.
The high stakes of industrial accidents
Preventing these and other devastating industrial accidents is crucial, as the consequences for not doing so can be catastrophic. Workers can suffer amputation, disfiguring burns and even death in an accident.
Often, industrial workers who get hurt on the job face expensive medical care and a lengthy recovery process. They may suffer disabling injuries that can prevent them from performing tasks as they normally would. Personal relationships can also suffer in the aftermath of a severe injury.
Thus, accident prevention should be the top priority for employers and employees in the industrial sector.