How to prevent workplace incidents injuries and illnesses?
While Australia’s work-related fatality rates have been steadily trending downwards, the questions as to “why there are still so many workplace incidents occurring” and “what more can be done?” to prevent workplace incidents, injuries, and illnesses remain?
Why are accidents still occurring after decades of increased safety management system requirements and improved policies, standards, and regulations?
Today’s modern societal working life expectations mean many workers are facing increasing pressure to meet the demands. With this increase in pressure workers experience fatigue, stress, and mental distractions – three main causes of workplace incidents.
Fatigue can be caused by work-related factors, factors outside of work, and or a combination of both, which accumulates over time when someone pushes themselves beyond reasonable limits to stay on top of the workload. This usually translates into physical and mental exhaustion, impaired judgment, slower reflexes, delayed response to emergency situations as well as inattention to details and instructions.
Work-related stress is now acknowledged by many as a global issue affecting workers in multiple professions. Risks such as increased competition, higher performance expectations, and longer working hours are affecting workplaces in a way that creates more stressful working environments. A direct correlation between a rise in worker stress and a rise in workplace incidents has been identified.
Mental health –
Everyone has a life outside of the workplace, and sometimes it can affect our emotions and mood negatively. Have you ever thought about the unpleasant scenes at home while operating equipment at work? Perhaps chatting with a colleague while climbing a ladder or mixing hazardous chemicals? To some, it may seem harmless but think again.
Mental distractions often lead to inattention. Whether you’re worrying, daydreaming, or chatting. Mental distractions can delay and hinder the ability to secure situations such as hazards or defects in machines. Although it can be difficult at times to block out distractions and focus on the work at hand, a good way to do so is to use rest breaks to control your distractions, improve your discipline and prioritise the job while at work.
Safe Work Australia is an excellent resource for all Workplace Health and Safety.
If you would like support to review your workplace for effective fatigue, stress, and wellbeing management Big Yellow Safety now has a dedicated Workplace Health and Safety Consultant to assist you with preventing workplace incidents. Contact us on 07 5655 4047 or book an introductory session.