Roughly 2.8 million injuries occur on the job every year. Even worse, an average of 99 workers are killed every week at work.
Clearly, the workplace can be a very dangerous place. Employers must recognize their responsibility to provide a safe workplace environment. At the same time, employees must be aware of their surroundings and be mindful of risks while working.
What workplace injuries do you need to watch out for? Read on to discover the top five workplace injuries you must be aware of.
1. Slips, Trips, and Falls
The most common workplace injuries are slips, trips, and falls. These include head and back injuries, cuts, sprains, pulled muscles, and broken bones.
Slips and falls are caused by wet surfaces, loose carpets or mats, or slippery flooring that doesn’t have necessary traction. Trips are a result of clutter, poor lighting, unsecured cables, and loose carpeting. Both slips and falls can happen when workers are unable to completely see their work area due to view obstruction.
And if you do fall, here’s how to know if you have a broken rib.
2. Overexertion Injuries
Injuries resulting from overexertion are common, and also very expensive for employers and employees alike. In fact, low back pain is the number one job-related disability, resulting in over 150 million work days lost and a $16 billion loss in productivity.
Overexertion occurs when workers engage too hard, or too long, in activities involving lifting, carrying, holding, throwing, pushing or pulling. Hard work is noble, but workers need to be cautious not to overdo it.
3. Repetitive Strain Injuries
Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) are occurring more often in recent years, although many employers are not taking notice. Consistent use of a keyboard is a common way to suffer an RSI, such as carpal tunnel, eye strain or back problems.
Any forceful or repetitive activity can bring about an RSI, which usually affects the upper body. In particular, the neck, shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrists, and hands are common areas needing treatment following an RSI.
Managers should look for ergonomic chairs that support good posture. Other ergonomic equipment and employee training can help reduce the number of repetitive strain injuries in the workplace.
4. Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries
As every driver knows, a vehicle accident can happen at any time. Even if you are obeying all laws, you can get in an accident due to another driver’s negligence.
If your company uses motor vehicles, take precautions to improve driver safety. Employees should complete driver training, always wear seatbelts, and obey all traffic laws.
You won’t be able to eliminate the risk of accidents entirely. But by consistently practicing safe driving procedures, you can lower the likelihood of an accident, especially on the part of the employee.
5. Falling Object Injuries
When objects fall from shelves they can cause significant and serious injuries. Accidents can also occur when other employees have an accident and drop objects on other employees.
Falling objects incidents most commonly injure the head, and can be very serious. Many injuries can result in concussions, and in some cases, blindness.
It’s imperative that employees wear protective gear, such as a hard hat, to help prevent serious injuries from a falling object.
Final Word on Workplace Injuries
As the saying goes, “accidents happen.” And workplace injuries will most certainly occur.
But most injuries can be averted through the diligence of both employers and employees by adhering to safety procedures. Remember the five most common injuries, and take the necessary steps to keep yourself, and others, safe.