You might think that the most dangerous accidents are likely to happen in more extreme and risky circumstances, such as on the road or when flying. But in fact, most injuries occur in the home or the workplace.
There are many reasons, but mainly, it is because it is easier to be more complacent to potential risks when you’re in a familiar area. In other words, you may be more alert to possible accidents or threats when you’re in an unfamiliar setting. To help you stay safe and more aware, here are some of the most common accidents that occur at home and work and how you can take measures to prevent them from occurring.
Trips and falls
Trips and falls are certainly one of the most common accidents that can occur, and their consequences can range from a minor bruise or sprain to a much more serious injury. For older people especially, a fall can be potentially life-threatening, as elderly individuals will be at greater risk of osteoporosis, leading to injuries such as bone fractures, soft tissue damage, or even a brain injury from hitting their head.
Falls can be prevented by paying more attention to potential hazards in common areas such as near furniture or in narrow spaces like corridors. You should look out for loose items, including cables and adapters, and a cable management system can be a helpful way of keeping loose cables tucked away neatly.
In the workplace, it is also important to highlight potential risk areas, such as slippery or wet surfaces, as it can lead to serious consequences if an employee falls and hurts themselves at work. If this is something you have experienced yourself, then you may want to contact a reputable personal injury firm such as Brown & Crouppen.
Cuts and bleeding
Minor cuts can occur frequently around the home and often from the most surprising items. While sharp tools such as knives, scissors and other pieces of equipment are obvious hazards that will normally be put away safely in drawers and cupboards when not in use, there can often be other hazards that are overlooked.
In the home, it’s important to keep an eye out for sharp edges on common furniture items, which can lead to small cuts or grazes, particularly when it comes to children. It’s often a good idea to child-proof potentially harmful surfaces by covering them up with padding or bumpers.
Another common source of cuts can be from breakages, such as smashed glass. If you encounter a breakage, whether at home or at work, it is always best to do an initial risk assessment before attempting to clear things up. There may be small fragments of sharp items on the floor or across other surfaces that may not be easy to spot and may require specialist cleaning to make the area safe.
Burns and scalding
The severity of an injury from a burn can vary a lot, depending on the source and extent of the burn; however, it is always important to treat burns promptly and carefully. The most common risk factor for a burn is an extremely hot surface, such as a cooking or heating element. Therefore, appropriate care should always be taken around them.
In the home, you may need to install guards around fireplaces and other heat sources to prevent children and pets from getting scalded or burnt by them accidentally. When it comes to cooking equipment, having appropriate fire safety measures such as extinguishers and a thorough fire exit strategy, are vital, as there is a greater risk of an accidental fire occurring. If this is not handled correctly and in a timely way, this can often escalate into a more serious fire and cause life-threatening harm.
Objects falling from above can often lead to some of the most severe injuries and can easily be ignored if they have not been assessed correctly beforehand. In workplaces such as construction or repair sites, there is a much higher risk of injury to members of the public from falling objects than any other kind of injury. This can lead to serious harm to the individual, as well as significant legal repercussions for the business involved.
If you are working on a site where activities are occurring at different height levels, such as across scaffolding or on ladders, always ensure that there is appropriate signage alerting people nearby of the risk from above. If possible, close off areas where there is a risk of something falling to prevent any potential injury.
Choking is a more likely injury in the home than in the workplace, but that does not make it any less serious. This is particularly given the fact that it is usually the most vulnerable members of the household, such as small children or the elderly, that are most at danger from getting hurt.
For children, choking hazards can come in many forms such as toys, loose items like cords, or other small household objects. As babies and toddlers in particular will often put things in their mouths out of simple curiosity, it is essential for an adult to always be present to supervise during play or meal times and to remove any potential hazardous items in close proximity. This can often include innocuous items such as a pen lid or a coin, so it is important to be very alert and mindful of what kinds of objects are left lying around.
For adults, choking can arise when eating, especially with vulnerable adults that may have difficulty swallowing or eating. For these individuals, you can often take precautions, such as preparing a meal that is easier to swallow, using special tools to help them eat and reduce the risk of choking, and ensuring there is someone close by to help in case of an issue. By staying alert to potential hazards, it is possible to keep everyone safe and healthy.