An accident (industrial) is a sudden and unexpected occurrence in the industry which interrupts the orderly progress of the work. According to the Factories Act, 1948: “It is an occurrence in an industrial establishment causing bodily injury to a person who makes him unfit to resume his duties in the next 48 hours“.
In other words, accident is an unexpected event in the course of employment which is neither anticipated nor designed to occur, Thus, an accident is an unplanned and uncontrolled event in which an action or reaction of an object, a substance, a person, or a radiation results in personal injury. It is important to note that self-inflicted injuries cannot be regarded as accidents. An industrial injury is defined as “a personal injury to an employee which has been caused by an accident or an Occupational disease and which arises out of or in the course of employment and which could entitle such employee to compensation under Worker’s Compensation Act, 1923“.
Types of Accidents:
Accidents may be of different types depending upon the severity, durability and degree of the injury. An accident causing death or permanent or prolonged disability to the injured employee is called ‘major accident. A cut that does not render the employee disabled is termed as ‘minor’ accident. When an employee gets injury with external signs of it, it is external injury.
Causes of Accidents
It is an established fact that accidents are caused, they do not just happen out of nothing. Whenever there occurs an accident, there must be some cause, which may be obvious, or difficult to trace, A large number of factors combine to cause accidents. Each of these factors is different in different situations. It has been rightly said that an accident does not have a single cause but a multiplicity of causes, which are often closely related. Basic factors responsible for causing accidents. are unsafe acts of the employees, unsafe working conditions and last bill 110t least the chance occurrences.
Unsafe Acts in Industrial Accident
Unsafe act may be defined as the deviation from the normal and correct procedure or practice. These acts may be result of lack of knowledge or skill on the part of the employee, certain bodily defects and wrong attitudes some of the examples of the unsafe acts are as follows:
- Failure on the part of workers to obtain necessary equipment or warning from other fellow workers of possible danger.
- Operating or working at unsafe speeds, either too fast or too slow. Operating machines or gadgets without approval of the relevant authority.
- Throwing materials on the floor carelessly.
- Using unsafe equipment, or using equipment unsafely.
- Failure on the part of workers to use safety devices and personal protective equipment’s.
- Adopting unsafe or wrong methods in such operations like loading, unloading, removing, placing, intermixing etc.
- Lifting goods especially fragile goods improperly.
- Cleaning, adjusting, oiling, repairing, etc. or moving on a dangerous equipment.
- Distracting, tearing, abusing, quarrelling.
- Day-dreaming, horseplay.
- Taking unsafe positions under suspended loads.
Individual characteristics are also responsible for accident behavior among workers. For example, characteristics like personality, motivation serve as a basis for certain behavior tendencies such as tendencies to take risks and undesirable attitudes.
These behavior tendencies, in turn, result in unsafe acts as, failure 10 follow procedures and safety rules, and reluctance to use safety equipment’s, or haste on the part of the employee particularly, when he IS on incentive payment schemes. These unsafe acts increase the probability of an individual incurring an accident.
Most of the accidents occur due to unsafe conditions i.e., work- related causes. The work-related causes are often referred to as technical causes, These arise when there are improper or inadequate safety guards on machines; when machines break down; when improper personal protection equipment installed; mechanical or construction designs are defective and unsafe; and when control devices, which have been installed to make the operation of the machines safe and accident free are lacking or defective; or when there is an absence of proper maintenance and supervision of these devices.
Thus, unsafe conditions includes:
- Improperly guarded equipment.
- Defective equipment.
- Hazardous arrangement of procedure in, and, or around, machines or equipment.
- Unsafe storage; congestion; overloading.
- Inadequate safety devices.
- Wrong and faulty lay out, and bad location.
- Improper illumination – glare or insufficient light.
- Improper ventilation – insufficient air charge, impure air source.
- Poor housekeeping.
Safety experts are of the view that accidents can happen Unsafe Conditions anywhere there are some “high danger” zones. For example, about one-third of industrial accidents occur around hand lift trucks, wheel-barrows, and other handling and lifting areas. The most serious accident usually occur near metal and working machines and saws, or around transmission machinery like gears, pulleys, and flywheels, on stairs, ladders, walkways, scaffolds, hand rails. Hand tools (like chisels or screw drivers) and electrical equipment (extension cords, electric drop lights, etc.) are other big accident causes.
Other Causes of Industrial Accident
These causes of accidents arise mainly due to unsafe situational and climatic conditions. Some of these causes can summarized as follows:
- Excessively long duration of work
- Harsh and domineering behavior of the management or supervisors towards workers.
- Excessive heat in the factory premises.
- Feeling of job insecurity among workers.
- Defective or reduced vision of the workers.
- The nature of motivation adopted by management towards workers.
- Reduced hearing capacity of the workers.
- The leadership style adopted by the management in the organization.
- Lack of proper inspection and supervision by the supervisor.
- Careless handling of hazardous materials like petrol explosives etc.
- Marital statuses of the workers
- Unmarried employees generally have more accidents than married employees.
- Addiction to alcohol and drugs.
- Smog in the atmosphere.
- Inexperienced workers generally sustain injuries than experienced workers.