ACCIDENTS IN INDUSTRIES: Types of common accidents, Effect of Accidents, Causes of accidents


The accidents are the mishaps leading injury
to man, machines or tools and equipment
and may cause injury and result either
death or temporary disablement or permanent disablement of the industrial employees.
A survey was conducted in 1952 in America
specified that approximately ten thousands industrial persons were
killed in accidents and more than lakhs were injured in a
year. The accidents are unwanted events or mishaps that result in
  sort of injury to men, material,
machines, tools, equipment and semi or finished product hence, a loss to the
whole establishment. The total cost of these accidents was more than crores of
dollars. An industrial accident may be defined as an event, detrimental to
health of man, suddenly occurring
and originating from external sources, and which is associated with the
performance of a paid
job, accompanied
by an
injury, followed by disability
or even death. An accident may happen to any employee under certain
circumstances. The said injury or loss may be minor or major in
nature and accordingly the accident is termed as non- reportable or reportable
kind. It should,
however, be
understood that no hard and line of demarcation can be laid between these two
aspects and their identification varies with
place of application. For example a small burn or cut oft body will be
reportable accident in
   a workshop
whereas the same, can be treated by first aid and does not involve
any appreciable loss of time,
not be considered a reportable accident. Few industries determine the accidents
by the extent to which it leads to the disablement of the victim and number of
hours or days he is to remain absent from duty on account of the problem. There
are others which take
consideration various factors like machine, tools, materials, cost of
medicines, loss of production and compensation to be given to the worker who
meets with the accident. An accident can be very costly to the injured employee
as well as to the employer of the manufacturing concern. Some direct or
indirect costs are associated with accidents in industries. The direct costs
involve payment of compensation and overheads uncompensated wage losses of the
injured employees, cost of medical care and hospitalization. Whereas indirect
costs of an accident comprise of costs of damage of machines, materials and
plant equipments, costs of wages paid for time lost by workers not injured,
costs of wages paid to the victim, costs of investigating agency involving
recording and reporting of accidents
and its causes, costs of deputing new
employee for replacement of the injured employee, cost of decreased production
by the substituting victim, cost of delays in production due to accident, cost
of reduced efficiency of the victim when he joins the manufacturing concern
after getting recovered and cost of lowered production due to reduced morale of
employees. An accident     is an unexpected event which is likely to cause, an injury. Proper diagnosis of causes of mis- happening and
corrective measures of the same always helps in preventing future accidents.
Accidents in industries put a heavy burden on society
also. All direct and indirect cost to the management will ultimately have to be met by the consumers
in terms of increased cost of product. Also, the financial burden of
disabled persons and their dependents have to be born by society. Thus every
citizen in a nation has to bear a proportion of the cost of accidents. Every
care and prevention therefore should be evolved adopted to prevent accidents to
the maximum possible extents. Accidents do not just happen but they are caused
because of failure to follow the needed safety precautions and safety rules. If
someone is honest with himself, he cannot think of a single accident that could
not have been prevented by care. 

 Types of common accidents needing due attention

There are various types of common accidents
needing due attention to prevent them which are as follows:

1. Near Accident

An accident with no damage or injury is called near

2. Trivial

An accident with very less damage is called trivial.

3. Minor Accident

It is an accident with damage and injury more than

4. Serious Accident

An accident with heavy damage and lot of injury is called
serious accident.

5. Fatal

It is an accident with very heavy damage. There may be
loss of lives also.

 Effect of Accidents

The adverse effects of the accident are given as under—

(A)  Effect on the owner of factory

(i)  Direct cost of
an accident

1. Cost
of the compensation paid to the workers.

2. Cost
of the money paid for treatment.

3. Cost
of the monetary value of damaged tools,
equipments and materials.

(ii) Indirect cost
of an accident

1. Cost
of the lost time of injured worker.

2. Cost
of the time lost by other employees.

3. Cost
of the delays in production.

4. Cost
of the time lost by supervisors, safety
engineers etc.

5. Cost
of the lowered production due to substitute worker.

(B)   Effect on worker

1. The
industrial workers may get temporary
or permanent disability.

2. If the industrial worker dies, his
family loses the earner and the compensation
never equals to his earnings.

3. Accident also affects the morale of
the employees working in the manufacturing environment.

(C)  Effect on society

Work connected with injuries put a considerable
burden on society also as given as under:

1. Cost of accidents is included in the
products, so the society has to pay more prices
for the industrial products.

2.  If some industrial workers do not come
under compensation act, the need for help from society is much greater.

3. Loss of production hours may causes
fewer products in market. So more prices if demand is more than production.


The accidents may take place
due to human causes, environmental causes and mechanical causes. These causes are discussed as under.


1.  Accidents may occur while working on unsafe or dangerous
or machineries possessing rotating, reciprocating and moving

2.  Accidents
occur while operating machines without knowledge, without safety precautions,
without authority, without
safety devices.

Accidents generally occur while operating or working at unsafe speed.

4.  Accidents may occur while
working for long duration of work, shift duty etc.

Accidents commonly occur during use of improper tools.

6.  Accidents
may occur while working with mental worries, ignorance, carelessness,
nervousness, dreaming etc.

Accidents occur because of not using personal protective devices.

Environmental Causes

1. Accidents may occur during working at
improper temperature and humidity causes fatigue to the workers
so chances of accidents increases
with workers having

2. The presence of dust fumes and smoke in the working area may causes accidents.

3. Poor housekeeping, congestion, blocked
exits, bad plant layout etc. may cause accidents.

4. Accidents occur due to inadequate illumination.

5. Improper ventilation in the plant may also leads to industrial accidents.


1. Continued use of old, poor maintained
or unsafe equipment may result in accidents.

2. Accidents commonly occur due to use of
unguarded or improper guarded machines or equipments.

3. Unsafe processes, unsafe design and
unsafe construction of building structure may
lead to accidents in the plant.

4. Accidents occur due to improper
material handling system and improper plant layout.

5. Accidents may occur due to not using
of safety devices such as helmets, goggles, gloves, masks etc.

However the other general causes of accidents in
workshops are listed under:

1. Because of ignorance to work with equipments, hand tools, cutting
tools and machine tools.

2. Operating machine and equipments without knowledge.

3. Extra
curiosity to work without knowing.

4. Due to poor working conditions.

5. Because of speedy work.

6. Improper method to work.

7. Due
to use of improper tools.

8. Because of lack of discipline.

9. Uninterested in work.

10. Due to carelessness.

11. Due to over confidence.

12. Bad working environment.

13. Because of excessive over times duty by industrial workers.

14. Dangerous materials with which to work.

15. Lack of cleanliness.

16.  Due to poor planning.

In a conducted survey, it was observed that most of the accidents,
to the tune of 98%, could be easily avoided provided due precautions and
care were adopted well in time. It
was stressed
that accidents do happen but are caused due to the failure of one element or
the other.
The most unfortunate and most common factor in occurring accidents is
the human element which occurs due to non-observance of the safety measures or
safety rules. The past statistics also reflects that the causes of accidents as
well as the nature of accidents
depend entirely
on the extent to which safety measures are adopted and not the manufacturing
processes or operation. The common causes which lead to accidents may be
improper acts by industrial personnel which result in violation of safety rules
and non -observance of
safety precautions,
due to improper tools, machinery and equipments or their unsafe or improper use
due to unsafe working position
and unsafe working
conditions in manufacturing areas.

Some major
factors namely technical, unsafe working conditions, mechanical, environment,
human cause, unsafe acts and other personal
factors are most responsible for accidents. Technical
causes or unsafe conditions involves deficiencies in
plant, equipment, tools, machinery,
materials handling system, general work environment etc. Mechanical
causes involve unsafe design and
construction of tools and devices, cutting tools, machines tools and mechanical
equipments, hazardous arrangement such as
piling, over-loading etc, improper guards a
against dangerous machine
components, defective tool and equipments, improper material handling, leaking
valves of acid and poisonous gases, and use of untested boilers and pressure
vessels. Environmental factors indicate improper physical and atmospheric
surrounding conditions of work which indirectly promote the occurrence of
accidents These factors include too low temperature to cause shivering, too
high temperature to cause headache and sweating, too high a humidity (in textile industry) to cause discomfort,
fatigue and drowsiness, inadequate illumination causing eyestrain, glares,
and shadows, presence
of dust, fumes and smokes in 
industries such as foundries, chemical
, paper and sugarcane etc. Lack of adequate ventilation,
high speed of work because of huge work load, more number of working
hours and over
and above them the
tendency of the employer to insist for over time work, inadequate rest periods
in between
works, noise, bad odor
and flash coming from the nearby
machinery,  equipment  or processes, and poor housekeeping are also personal

A large number of accidents can
be avoided if proper safety measures and safety rules are adopted in
manufacturing areas. Some of the important causes of accidents involve violation
of safety rules, not using of safety devices, improper use of gadgets and
machine controls,
non-development of safety working
habits, ignorance of the operation
of tools, machine and equipments operation, unsafe
working conditions, monotony and work-relating stresses, wear
and tear of the functional components, explosive and inflammable material


A large number of revolving, rotating, reciprocating
and moving parts of machinery can be said
as the sources of danger and require guarding
for protection against
accidents. Extensive studies
reveal that some characteristic groups of dangerous parts are acting as
common sources of accidents in workshops. Many such major sources
are as under.

1. Revolving parts, viz. pulley, flywheels, worms, worm wheel, fan, gears, gear trains, gear wheels etc.

2. Projecting fasteners of revolving
parts; like bolts, screws, nuts, key heads, cotters and pins etc.

3. Intermittent feed mechanisms, viz.,
tool feed of planer; table feed of a shaper,
ram feed of power presses
and similar other applications.

4. Revolving shafts, spindles, bars,
mandrels, chucks, followers and tools like drills, taps, reamers, milling cutters,
and boring tool etc.

5. Rotating worms and spirals enclosed in
casings, such as in conveyors and revolving cutting tool, like milling cutters,
circular saw blade, saw band, circular shears and
grinding wheels, etc.

6. Reciprocating tools and dies of power presses, spring hammer, drop hammers, and reciprocating presses, reciprocating knives and saw blade such bow saw, shearing
and perforating machines and the cutting and trimming machine and power hack-
saws etc.

7. Moving parts of various machines, like
those of printing machines, paper-cutters and trimmers, etc.

8. Revolving drums and cylinders without
casing, such as concrete and other mixers, tumblers and tumbling barrels,

9. High
speed rotating cages
such as in hydro-extractors.

10. Revolving weights, such as in
hydraulic accumulator or in slotting machines for

11. Nips
between meshing racks and pinions
of machine parts

12. Nips between reciprocating parts and
fixed components, such as between shaper table and the fixture
mounted on it or a planer table and table reversing stops, etc.

13. Nips
between crank handles
for machine controls
and fixed parts.

14. Projecting nips between various
links and mechanisms, like cranks,     connecting
rods, piston rods, rotating wheels and discs, etc.

15. Projecting sharp edge or nips of belt
and chain drives; via belt, pulleys, chains sprockets and belt fasteners, spiked cylinders etc.

16. Nips between revolving control handles
and fixed parts traverse gear handles of lathes, millers, etc.

17. Moving balance weights and dead
weight, hydraulic accumulators, counter-balance weight on large slotting
machines, etc.

18. Revolving drums and cylinders uncased,
tumblers in the foundry, mixers, varnish mixers etc.

19. Nips between fixed and moving parts
such as buckets or hoppers of conveyors against tipping bars, stops or parts of the framework.

20. Nips
between revolving wheels
or cylinders and pans or tables, sand mixers, crushing and incorporating mills, mortar
mills, leather carrying
machines, etc.

21. Cutting edges of endless band cutting
machines, wood working, and log cutting metal
find stone-cutting band saws, cloth-cutting band knives, etc.

22. Nips
between gears and racks strips,
roller drives, presses,
planning machine drives, etc.

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