The law clearly states that employers are responsible for making the workplace as safe as reasonably possible for workers as well as visitors. This may mean different things in different workplaces, depending on the type of work being carried out and the risks inherent to the industry and to that workplace in particular. For example, building sites and oil rigs may require precautionary measures that are completely different from those required in professional kitchens or in an office.
Although there is some level of risk in almost every workplace, there are a few work environments and occupations that are considerably more dangerous than others.
The Most Dangerous Work Environments
Some of the most dangerous workplaces include the following:
- Construction sites;
- Oil rigs;
- Boats and Ships;
These are some of the common causes of injuries that occur at different types of workplaces.
Going by injury statistics, construction areas and building sites are some of the most dangerous workplaces. Many of these accidents could have been avoided if only the proper precautions were put in place.
Injuries on construction sites are typically caused by:
- Objects falling off scaffolding;
- Loose or faulty guardrails;
- Damaged/weak planking;
- Falling bricks/debris, equipment and tools;
- Accidents caused by heavy vehicles;
- Slipping or tripping over uneven or slick surfaces;
- Loosing balance and falling from a height;
- Improper supervision and training;
- Inadequately maintained machinery such as cranes;
- Manually lifting or handling heavy objects;
- Carrying out work in extreme weather conditions.
Oil rigs can be even more dangerous than construction sites if only because of their highly explosive nature and their remote offshore location, which means medical attention is often delayed.
Oil rig injuries are often caused by:
- Continuous exposure to loud noises;
- Constantly handling heavy equipment;
- Travelling by helicopter to the oil rig;
- Dangerous substances that are released greatly affect your health;
- Unpredictable and extreme weather conditions;
- Handling vibrating power tools for prolonged periods of time;
- Drilling the seabed, which can cause changes in the pressure underneath the earth’s surface.
Professional kitchens may not seem like particularly dangerous workplaces but as you’ll see they do have their intrinsic risk factors:
- Scald burns caused by hot steam or liquid;
- Slips, trips and falls;
- Injuries caused by sharp knives, falling pans and other cooking instruments/appliances;
- Third-degree burns from hot oil;
- Cleaning deep fryers;
- Inattentiveness or negligence on the part of the employees;
- Improper supervision;
- Not enough training provided to employees.
Several factors combine to making factories risky workplaces. Factory workers are often injured because of:
- Inadequate safety measures;
- Improper or poor supervision;
- Chemical spills;
- Inadequate or lack of training provided to employees;
- Exposing employees/workers to dangerous substances;
- Inadequately maintained or faulty machinery;
- Manually lifting, handling and carrying routines;
- Being hit by a falling object/falling from a height;
- Electrical shocks from faulty wiring;
- Extremely loud noises that cause hearing issues;
- Inattentively operating forklift trucks and heavy machinery;
- Absence of personal protective equipment;
- Falling, tripping or slipping over slippery floors or other objects;
Boats And Ships
Shipping related injuries are typically caused by:
- Colliding with another boat
- Consuming alcohol or drugs while in charge of the boat
- Inadequate experience in driving/speeding
- Dangers encountered as a result of falling objects
- Hitting a wave or iceberg
- Coming in contact with rocks, submerged objects or land
- Slipping or tripping and falling off the boat
Farms may seem like slow-paced, safe work environments but they do have their risks. Injuries on a farm can be caused as a result of:
- Accidents that involve livestock;
- Farm vehicle collisions and machinery accidents;
- Injuries caused by chemical and hazardous materials;
- Working on a farm for long period can cause farmer’s lung and other illnesses;
- Constant exposure to loud noises;
- Unavailability of protective gear;
- Improper maintenance of farm vehicles and machinery.
An office may seem like the safest place to work in. What could possibly injure you in an office? As it turns out, plenty.
A poorly maintained office environment can be a pretty dangerous place to work in and can lead to different types of accidents. Common causes of injuries in an office include:
- Poorly installed electrical equipment or loose connections resulting in electric shocks;
- Slipping on freshly mopped floors or spilt liquid;
- Tripping over or falling in blocked walkways and doorways;
- Stumbling over loose wiring or torn carpeting;
- Carpal tunnel syndrome from engaging in activities that require the same hand movements repetitively;
- Repetitive strain injury caused by badly-designed workstations;
- Back injuries as a result of inappropriate lifting;
Warehouses have their fair share of risk factors that lead to workers getting injured. These may include:
- Being hit by falling objects;
- Getting electrocuted;
- Falling from a height;
- Getting exposed to dangerous substances;
- Accidents caused by heavy and defective machinery;
- Falling over, slipping and tripping.
Claiming Work Injury Compensation
Working in every profession comes with its own set of hazards and dangers. In every workplace, it is the employer’s duty to safeguard their employees by conducting risk assessments and putting measures in place to minimise the risk of accidents.
If an employer fails to implement the relevant safety precautions and if a worker gets injured as a result of this negligence, the worker may be entitled to claim compensation for the injuries sustained.