7 Most Common Causes of Workplace Accidents

7 Most Common Causes of Workplace Accidents

Mark Twain once said, “It is better to be careful 100 times than to get killed once.” Think about this; 80 of every 100 accidents that happen in the workplace are ultimately the fault of the person involved in the incident. What does this tell us? Workers are not taking the proper precautionary measures before working, or they are simply too lazy to be bothered with it. After all, they do their jobs everyday right? Why do they need to waste their time with tedious things like inspections and precautionary measures? Well, considering the above statistic, there should be an ample amount of evidence to convince lazy and neglectful workers to start paying more attention to correct safety measures. A majority of workers seem to like to find “things” to blame when workplace accidents occur rather than “root causes”. However, there are 7 common causes for workplace accidents, and “root causes” account for every single one of them. To give workers more incentive to practice proper safety measures within the workplace, we have compiled these 7 common causes to give a better illustration of what the root causes of accidents in the workplace are.


Humans are notoriously lazy, so taking shortcuts is a rather common practice in all walks of life, not necessarily work alone. However, when workers take shortcuts at work, especially when they are working around dangerous machinery or lethal chemicals, they are only exposing themselves to a potential catastrophe. Simply put, shortcuts that are taken on the job are not actually shortcuts. They are simply increasing your risk of injury, or worse, death.


Confidence is always a great thing to have, but there is also such a thing as too much confidence. When workers walk into work everyday with the attitude that, “It will never happen to me”, they are setting an attitude that leads to incorrect procedures, methods, and tools while working. Be confident, but remember that you are not invincible.

Poor, or Lack Of Housekeeping

Whenever someone walks through your workplace, they can get a pretty good idea of your attitude towards workplace safety by just looking at how well you’ve kept up your area. Housekeeping is one of the most accurate indicators of the company’s attitude towards production, quality, and worker safety. A poorly kept up area leads to hazards and threats everywhere. Not only does good housekeeping lead to heightened safety, but it also sets a good standard for everyone else in the workplace to follow.

workplace accidents

Starting a Task Before Getting All Necessary Information 

The quickest way to get a job done is to do it right the first time. To do it right the first time, you need to make sure that you have any and all pertinent information relating to the task you will be performing. Workers who begin a job with just half the information, or half the instructions, are essentially doing the job while blind. Remember this; it’s not stupid to ask questions, it is stupid not to.

Neglecting Safety Procedures 

This is probably the worst thing that any employee at any level in the organization can do. Deliberately neglecting set safety procedures in the workplace doesn’t just endanger yourself, but it endangers the workers around you as well as the company as a whole. Casually following safety procedures doesn’t work either. You are paid to follow workplace safety procedures, not your own.

Mental Distractions 

Everyone has a life outside of the workplace, and sometimes life can take dips and turns that affect your emotions and your mood negatively. However, as harsh as it sounds, workers cannot let mental distractions from their personal lives affect their performance at work. Not only will they become less aware of their surroundings and less safe, but they will also become less productive, costing the company time and money.

Lack of Preparation 

You may have heard of something called Job Hazard Analysis (JHA). JHA’s are an effective method of figuring out the best way to work safely and efficiently. When workers begin a task without thinking through the process beforehand, or hastily start without any type of planning, they are setting themselves up for failure. Make sure you plan your work, then work your plan.

There are several reasons why workplace accidents happen, but these 7 are the most common, and sadly, the most overlooked, causes. It really comes down to awareness and focus. Lazy workers are not as effective and they are not as safe as their aware and focused counterparts. On top of this, lazy workers immediately become a direct threat to everyone around them. There needs to be a conscious effort each and every day in the workplace to make sure that these 7 causes don’t happen. Your life, your coworkers’ lives, and your company’s overall well-being depends on it.

About The Author
Brett Gordon is a writer for Safety Partners, LTD.

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