Obstacles In Workplace Safety

Simple things like slips, trips and falls are the most common types of injuries in the workplace. These incidents often occur due to a lack of taking proper safety measures. Although there are many obstacles to face while trying to create a safe work environment, but taking the time up front to make sure a workplace is safe is well worth it in the end.

OSHA Degrees OnlineMany obstacles in the workplace stem from easily preventable situations, oftentimes because people don’t take their jobs seriously. According to Safety and Health Magazine and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, working in heights is one of the biggest causes of injury in the workplace. Their data shows that falls accounted for 14 percent of all fatalities in 2014, and OSHA standards related to scaffolding and ladders are regularly among the most frequently cited violations.

Safety Partners LTD, a website dedicated to safety support, breaks down the seven most common causes of injury in the workplace.


One of the biggest obstacles in workplace safety is dealing with co-workers or employees who are lazy. Workers often don’t take their responsibilities seriously, so they take shortcuts that lead to accidents, injuries or safety hazards. Taking shortcuts when working around dangerous machinery or lethal chemicals is foolish and can quickly lead to a safety hazard.

Be wary of simple things such as leaving extension cords lying around. That can lead to a trip or fall. OSHA requires extension cords to only be used temporarily and when they are used for weeks or months it is not considered temporary. Extension cords can also be subject to traffic abuse if run over by forklifts or feet, which can wear down insulation and create shock hazards and potentially causing a fire. Be wary also, of cleaning messes up too quickly. When taking shortcuts in cleaning, something dangerous might be left behind. Water seems harmless but even a small puddle on the ground can create a severe injury.


Don’t be too confident in the workplace. Confidence may prohibit you from taking extra safety precautions, leading to an accident. It is good to be confident, but when it comes to workplace safety, it is also good to be overly cautious, prepared and well-versed on workplace safety. Imagine causing injury to someone or putting your business at risk because of your ego. You are not invincible, and even if you were, you can’t control the actions of others.

Always consider what could happen. Carelessness could lead to incorrect procedures, methods or tool use. Be confident, but remember that you are not invincible.

Poor Housekeeping

Usually if a workplace looks like a pigsty, there’s a pretty high chance that proper workplace safety measures are not being taken. Having good housekeeping in the workplace is a good habit to maintain which will encourage workers to follow OSHA standards. We naturally feel more motivated when working in an up kept environment and a poorly kept area leads to safety hazards. When a leader in the workplace sets the standard of maintaining good housekeeping, it sets the bar and is a good example to everyone else. Poor or lack of housekeeping can lead to fire exits and aisles being blocked which would be very problematic in an emergency.

Over-stacking product on racks that don’t leave enough room between the product and a fire sprinkler is a safety violation and should never happen. This can limit the sprinkler head’s efficiency during a fire, causing a much bigger disaster than if the sprinklers were able to do their job effectively.

Leaks that aren’t properly fixed and standing water that is not cleaned up can lead to slips and falls, which can not only cause a major injury, but can cause a lawsuit for a business if the victim decides to sue.

Another good housekeeping practice is to clean as you go and triple check everything. Don’t wait for a sanitation crew or another co-worker to clean it up for you. Clean your own spills. The first person who sees it, should clean it so that it isn’t there for very long. This small practice can prevent injuries and deaths in the workplace. If a clutter or spill requires specialized training to clean up, then employees should know to alert their supervisor immediately.

Starting a Task Before Getting All Necessary Information

Have you ever started a task and had no idea what you were doing? Has this ever been the case because you were scared to ask questions? Don’t let your fear of asking be the reason for an injury or hazard in the workplace. It is not worth it. By having all the necessary information before starting a task and asking questions that you are unclear about, the task will more-likely be done right the first time, decreasing your chances of causing a catastrophe. Don’t be careless when starting tasks and projects in your workplace. Get into the mindset of asking questions and doing it right the first time.

Neglecting Safety Procedures

Neglecting safety procedures is one of the most dangerous things that employees could do.

Neglecting safety procedures is one of the most dangerous things that employees could do. Instead of not understanding procedures, or having a safety hazard because of an accident, total neglect is a sure endangerment to yourself and your colleagues.

Half way following safety procedures is not OK either. Be smart and think about the consequences of your actions. Oftentimes, people are just unaware how dangerous it is to neglect safety rules. If you are a leader in the workplace, explain the importance of safety procedures to your co-workers.

Mental Distractions

One of the biggest obstacles in workplace safety is being mentally distracted by something. We are human, so we have stuff going on outside of the workplace and so do our co-workers. Sometimes our outside lives can negatively affect our moods in the work place. But one of the worst feelings is being involved in a workplace accident because you were distracted. Workers cannot let mental distractions from their personal lives affect their performance at work. A clouded mind can be detrimental at work. Make sure when you arrive at work, to leave your thoughts at the door, snap into work mode, be aware of your surroundings and always stay productive.

Lack of Preparation

You wouldn’t go scuba diving in the ocean without preparing first would you? You wouldn’t even do it with only preparing a little because that can be very dangerous. That is how it is when it comes to workplace safety. Not preparing for projects and tasks can lead to danger. 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. There are correct and incorrect ways to do everything in the workplace. The correct ways ensure safety and cautiousness. Don’t set yourself up for failure.

There are many obstacles when it comes to workplace safety. These seven obstacles can be overcome by working as a team with your colleagues, being smart, educated, alert and prepared. Laziness when addressing health and safety is unacceptable. Lazy workers immediately become a direct threat to everyone around them. Don’t be a threat to the people around you and encourage those around you to follow your lead by being on top of things.