We regularly hear stories of employees receiving workers compensation benefits after they get injured at work as a result of employer negligence or equipment failure; but a rising cause of workplace accidents is attributed to human factors. Workplace accidents are often caused by a lack of employee training, general carelessness, and illiteracy.
Since 1976, OSHA’s database contains records of more than 44,000 workplace accidents caused by human factors. Employee errors represents the largest cause of workplace accidents over a 15 year period, involving accidents caused by misjudging situations, being distracted, inappropriate working positions, and neuro-muscular malfunctions.
Reducing Human Factor Accidents
When considering company procedures, companies must consider occupational health and safety in the procedures. Safety and health concerns of employees can’t just be an afterthought – it needs to be part of the planning process as jobs are created, employees are selected, and when managers and employees are trained.
Treat all accidents at work as performance errors, and use them as training opportunities to prevent all future errors of the same nature. Establish and ensure all employees participate in behavioral-based safety programs.
Because a large number of workplace accidents are caused by distractions, change boring routines for employees as frequently as possible to reduce daydreaming and boredom. Employees who are paying attention to what they are doing are less likely to get injured at work.
When companies strive to reduce the number of human factor related accidents in the workplace, they will effectively reduce the number of workers’ comp claims their employees require.