What Are the Common Causes of Workplace Accidents?


Occupational accidents can occur due to human or mechanical causes; in the majority of cases, they are of human origin.

In many cases, work accidents due to mechanical causes occur due to bad assembly of machinery, or due to a factory defect, so basically the culprit of the accident is the person who carries out the assembly or the one who makes the mistake. So almost all accidents are due to human causes.

Despite rigorous legislation in health and safety in the workplace, in the UK, claims for compensation related to workplace accidents, whether it is compensation for burns, a fall, a fractured limb, or other type of personal injury have become more common than ever before.

How an occupational accident occurs

The International Labour Organisation recognizes 4 major groups of causes of accidents:

  1. Insecure act

It is the violation of a procedure that is considered safe; that is, it is the negligence of a person that produces the main factor of insecurity.


  • Distract or annoy other people who are doing their job.
  • Carry out maintenance work with the machine running.
  • Perform operations without being authorised.
  • Do not use safety equipment.
  • Adopt dangerous positions.
  • Do not work at the right speed.
  • Use unsafe equipment.
  1. Unsafe conditions

This refers to a condition that is related to the object that has been directly linked to the accident and that could have been protected or avoided.


  • Environmental conditions that pose a certain risk.
  • Inadequate or defective protection.
  • Defective ventilation of workplaces.
  • Absence of protection.
  • Inadequate lighting in workplace.
  • Installations poorly conceived or built.
  • Defective tools or equipment.
  1. Personal causes

These are internal causes of the worker, and cause a large number of accidents.


  • Unsafe habits.
  • Physical defects.
  • Unawareness of work.
  1. Environment

Like the personal causes, they are internal causes of the worker, but these are motivated by the social environment where people live, work and develop.


  • Health problems.
  • Social and economic problems.


How an occupational accident occurs

A worker is worried about family problems (environment), and this makes him pay less attention to the handling of the crane (personal causes). Subsequently, he knocks down a column of badly placed boxes (unsafe condition) that fall and hit a colleague (accident), causing a fracture in the neck (injury).

So, if any of these causes had been avoided, the rest probably would not have occurred, since they are clearly intertwined with each other.

Regarding the environment and personal causes, preventive work is quite limited, the only thing that can be done is to educate workers through proper training in occupational risk prevention.

On the other hand, with regard to dangerous acts and conditions, greater control can be established, adequately training workers about the risks inherent in their work, acquiring machines with adequate protection, etc.

If you have suffered an accident in the workplace, and feel you may be entitled to make an  accident at work claim Gloucester legal experts in personal injury can offer you assistance and help in preparing and presenting your case.

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