Labour’s Day is a day to honor workers and commemorate the labor movement. The day is often marked by parades and political demonstrations focused on the rights of workers and proper working conditions. Labour Day is an annual holiday to celebrate the achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the Labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.
The story of Labour Day began with the rise in industrialization. The industrialists exploited the labor class these days. They took a lot of work from them but paid them very less. Laborers were forced to work for 10-15 hours a day in very tough conditions. Those who worked in chemical factories, mines, and other similar places suffered very much.
Lastly, they took the bravery to stand united and raise their voice against this oppression. Nearby that time, founding trade unions and going on strike. It was also considered illegal in several countries. So, they formed trade union and laborers went on strike. They also held rallies and protests. Lastly, the government heard their request and reduced the working hour to 8 hours. Thus this special day to celebrate the efforts of this class was also set.
Impact of Accidents at Workplace
Outside of bodily harm, workplace accidents present a number of challenges for business owners.
First, workplace accidents can lead to a loss of productivity. If a worker is harmed in the workplace, he or she may have to take time off of work. With the rest of the team having to pick up the slack, you’re likely to lose the productivity you would have had with a fully staffed team. Additionally, such accidents can impact other employees and may cause them to feel unsafe in their workplace. This can translate to deflated morale and a loss of motivation, both of which can negatively impact productivity.
Moreover, a business’s negligence that results in an accident or a bodily injury can have serious financial and legal implications. Workers’ compensation claims may arise, as well as possible litigation. A single lawsuit can significantly impede business growth and can even drive a business into bankruptcy.
Preventing accidents and creating a culture of safety awareness are the best ways to ensure that the above does not happen in your place of business.
Workplace Accident Statistics
The most recent data on workplace accidents show that there were 882,730 occupational injuries and illnesses in the previous year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that of those cases:
- 11% involved overexertion in lifting or lowering.
- 64% of bone fractures were from accidents in the service industries.
- 62% of slips, trips, and falls were on the same level.
- 20% of slips, trips, and falls were from a worker falling between two or more levels.
- 15% of all nonfatal workplace injuries were from workers being struck by equipment or objects while on the job.
- 35% of cases across all industries resulted from sprains, strains, and tears.
- The BLS also reported that, across all industries, more than 25% of all injuries were caused by slips, trips, and falls.
Common Causes of Workplace Accidents
One of the cornerstones of safety awareness is understanding what unique risks are associated with your work environment. With this aspect of awareness locked down, you’ll be able to craft proactive solutions for preventing these accidents. The most common hazards associated at workplace are:
Trips, slips and falls
Slips, trips and falls account for one third of all personal injuries in the workplace, and they’re a top cause of all workers’ compensation claims. The types of injuries incurred include head, back and neck injuries, broken bones, cuts, sprains and pulled muscles.
Being struck by or caught in Moving Machinery
Accidents can happen to anyone working with heavy machinery although they are more common in factories, with farm equipment, and construction equipment. Machinery that’s not properly guarded is a safety hazard. When body parts get caught in or struck by exposed moving parts or flying objects from machines without protective guards, the results are often times disastrous. The long and horrifying list of machinery related injuries includes crushed hands and arms, severed fingers, blindness and even worse.
The best way to prevent mechanical hazards is to remember that any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded, and proper operator training as well as protective clothing must always be provided.
Vehicle Related Accidents
Where there are vehicles of any kind, there’s the potential for accidents. These include being struck or run over by a moving vehicle, falling from a vehicle, being struck by objects falling from a vehicle and getting crushed by or stuck under an overturned vehicle. Avoiding these types of accidents begins with assessing who’s at risk, as well as where and when these accidents most commonly occur. Only then are prevention measures more easily established. Focus on workplace design, ensuring all layout routes always segregate pedestrians and vehicles and make any obstructions clearly visible. Directions, speed limit and priority signs are also helpful.
Fire and Explosions
Explosions and fires in the workplace are frequently caused by risk factors such as faulty gas lines, improperly stored combustible materials or open flames. The resulting injuries incurred include damage to the respiratory system, varying degrees of burns and even potential disfigurement. Explosions and fires account for 3 percent of workplace injuries and have the highest casualty rate of all probable workplace accidents.
There are 4 types of injuries commonly associated with this type of accident:
- Primary Blast: These occur due to the effects of pressure on body tissues, affecting ears, lungs and the GI tract.
- Secondary Blast: This occurs when flying objects strike nearby workers.
- Tertiary Blast: High-energy explosions can lift someone off the ground.
- Quaternary Blast: Everything else that happens as a result of an explosion, such as crush injuries, burns and inhalation of toxic substances.
Repetitive Stress and Overexertion Injuries
Musculoskeletal disorders are the most costly workplace injuries. Complaints of back pain alone cost employers more than 7 billion dollars annually and lead to more than 100 million lost workdays annually. These kinds of injuries contribute to loss of productivity and millions in annual health benefit payout costs. The financial impact on the employer is one thing, but the long-term effects on workers can be severe and potentially debilitating and they account for nearly 33 percent of occupational injuries.
Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs) are the fasting growing category of workplace injury and comprise more than 100 different types of job-induced injuries, and they’re severe enough to inhibit simple activities with crippling and debilitating pain. They could even eventually permanently impair a worker’s ability to perform his or her job.
Prevent Workplace Injuries
A single workplace accident can leave a big impact on your business. Between the medical bills, the lost productivity, all the workers’ compensation paperwork, and the low morale, the costs are high.
The best way to avoid these costs is by avoiding an injury.
Follow below steps to prevent an injury and protect your workforce.
- Incorporate a safety and wellness plan: The foundation for a safe work environment is an effective accident prevention and wellness program. The program needs to cover all levels of employee safety and health with the encouragement to report hazardous practices or behavior.
- Conduct pre-placement physicals: Some accidents are caused by inexperience and the inability to physically perform the position. Screening applicants is a safeguard for placement with the appropriate positions matching their physical capabilities.
- Educate employees, labour and management staff: Continually cultivate a safety standard among employees and management staff. Train employees about the importance of following safety measures as often as possible. Supplemental training in body mechanics can reduce strain injuries, and keep employees safe during lifting and moving.
- Research safety vulnerabilities: Every business is unique and doesn’t necessarily have the same safety concerns. Pay extra attention to common accidents and develop strategies to keep these setbacks from happening.
- Provide protection equipment: Personal protection equipment is essential and should be enforced at hiring, meetings, and with spontaneous monitoring. Take time to teach employees how to properly use goggles, face protection, gloves, hard hats, safety shoes, and earplugs or ear muffs.
- Have adequate staffing levels: More often than not, overtime hours are implemented because of low staffing levels. Overworked employees may suffer from exhaustion and cut corners to meet or exceed output. Hiring part-time or seasonal staff could help prevent accidents due to exhaustion.
- Don’t take shortcuts: Accidents happen when employees skip steps to complete a job ahead of schedule. Make sure all instructions are clear and organized to prevent undue mishaps in the workplace.
- Inspect and maintain all company vehicles: According to The Occupational Safety and Health Act findings, workplace-driving accidents cost employers an average of $60 billion dollars a year. Maintenance should include monthly inspections and repairing vehicles as soon as possible.
- Monitor safety measures: After initial training, reinforce safety measures at every opportunity, i.e. staff meetings, supervision, and education. Reward employees who abide by setting standards or staying injury free for a specified amount of time.
- Keep an orderly workplace: Poor housekeeping can cause serious health and safety hazards. The layout of the workplace should have adequate foot path markings, be free of debris, and stations for cleaning up spills.
Following tips to bolster your Safety Efforts
- Promote safety awareness and education with regular safety briefings and employee safety training.
- Install proper lighting to create a well-lit and visible jobsite that makes it easier for your staff to see potential risks and avoid them.
- Communicate safety hazards with adequate signage that clearly identifies hazardous areas and potential risks like obstacles, spills, toxic materials, or other hazards.
- Contain spills quickly when they happen, and remember to always have cleanup equipment readily accessible in your workplace.
- Routinely check for safety hazards, like spills or obstacles.
- Install proper ventilation to prevent toxic chemicals or other foreign particles from being inhaled by your employees.
- Enforce proper attire that’s necessary for accident prevention, like hard hats or slip-resistant shoes.
- Now that you understand some of the most common causes of workplace accidents and how you can prevent them, you can enhance your own safety program. Use the tips above to draft the basis for your program and tailor the needs of accident prevention to the unique challenges in your workplace.
Significance of Labour Day
Labour Day is a very significant holiday in a different country in the world and in India also. Here are some reasons why it is so much significant to the population.
- When they work in an organized, concerted way. Then workers become very powerful –Labour Day is a day that unites workers together and reminds them of their power when they act in unity.
- Workers can often feel ignored, mainly when they do vigorous or otherwise emotionally and physically taxing jobs. Labour Day is a day when workers can feel respected for the work that they have done all over the year.
- On Labour Day, workers and their needs and rights are in focus. This day can be a motivation for refining worker’s efforts. They learn about their rights and to campaign and make movements. In this way, they can make secure a better life for themselves and their families.
- Economic data about growth, output, input, and productivity can often unclear. The men and women who essentially power the economy with their work. So On Labour Day, we are reminded that the economy is something that affects. Real men and women essential for that.
- The awesome majority of countries celebrate Labour Day on the same day, May 1st. This means that this day does not just bring together workers in India. But it also gives a sense that workers all over the world which unites them through their common struggle and their common experiences.
- This day is important as it enables workers to take some much-needed rest from their work and to collect their thoughts, spend time with their loved ones, or just recover their energies.
- This day motivates people to get into work and to work hard. This will help to retain the economy going. It also encourages men and women to follow their chosen careers, to do their best at them. In this way, they contribute to their society.
We know that the worker receives minimum pay by selling his own labor. That is the reason why International Labour Day is celebrated all over the world. So this day is to promote and encourage international labor associations. Thus, it is a special day to appreciate and recognize their contribution to society as they are certainly well-deserved.