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Human behavior contributes to work-related injuries

Human behavior contributes to work-related injuries

Safety hazards are present in all California industries, and employers must ensure that all known risks are addressed. However, regardless of the industry, human behavior is often linked to workplace accidents. Safety authorities estimate 80% of work-related injuries result from one of five types of worker errors.

Distractions put workers at risk. Clutter and other noises common to some work environments could distract workers. However, personal concerns or matters at home could cause mental distractions in the workplace.

Neglected housekeeping causes hazards that could lead to severe injuries. Wet floors and randomly placed objects could cause slips and trips. Furthermore, debris on walk surfaces or snaking extension cords could cause falls resulting in lacerations, bone fractures or even brain trauma.

Complacency increases injury risks. Workers who have done the same work for years without incident tend to become complacent. They take shortcuts and disregard safety standards, which typically puts them at increased injury risks.

A shortcut on its own is a severe safety hazard, even if it is not related to complacency. Sometimes, workers choose to take shortcuts, but unreasonable deadlines are the reason for taking shortcuts in many cases.

Inadequate planning puts workers at significant risk of being injured. Planning a project must include having adequately trained workers on site for each task. Furthermore, appropriate tools and equipment must be available to avoid workers using inappropriate substitute tools.

Each one of the five behavioral hazards increases the risks of work-related injuries. Fortunately, injured workers are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, even if their behaviors were to blame. This is because the California workers’ compensation system is a no-fault program covering medical expenses and lost wages of all injured workers.

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