ALERT Learn More | NASP Certification Program: The Path to Success Has Many Routes. Choose Yours

Environmental Factors Causing Accidents

Last updated: September 14, 2022

What Does Environmental Factors Causing Accidents Mean?

Environmental factors causing accidents is a term used to capture all the causes of a workplace incident that can be directly attributed to the working environment. These include features of the natural environment, aspects of workplace design, as well as the machinery or equipment used on the jobsite.

These environmental factors exclude human factors, such as inattention and violations of safety rules.

Safeopedia Explains Environmental Factors Causing Accidents

A comprehensive understanding of the causes of an accident will consider a large variety of contributing factors. Many of these will have to do with the working environment itself, such as:

  • Poor visibility (e.g. heavy rain, blind corners, inadequate lighting)
  • Ambient temperatures (e.g. heat emanating from machinery, insufficient air conditioning, outdoor work in cold weather)
  • Slippery walking surfaces (e.g. wet floors, oily spills, icy walkways)
  • Poor ventilation
  • Noise levels, which can either contribute to hearing loss or prevent workers from hearing warning signals

Types of Environmental Hazards

Employers should inform workers about the different types of environmental hazards that are relevant to their occupation:

  • Chemical hazards — Risks associated with handling chemicals, including exposure to fumes, vapors, dust, and corrosives
  • Biological hazards — Risks associated with proximity to people who may be sick, animals, viruses, molds, and other biological agents that may carry health hazards
  • Ergonomic hazards — Risks associated with reaching for objects, poor posture, working in awkward positions, improper lifting, repetitive motion, and other potentially hazardous body movements
  • Electrical hazards — Risks associated with power lines and electrical equipment, including electric shocks and arc flashes
  • Unseen hazards — Risks associated with various invisible hazards, such as extreme temperatures, radiation, and noise

Share this Term

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Related Reading


HazardsEHS ProgramsSafety Hazard

Trending Articles

Go back to top