It’s estimated that a workplace injury happens on the job site every seven seconds. It’s scary to think that you could be the next victim. The United States Department of Labor states that 15 people will die each day from an injury on their job, which equates to over 100 a week, or 5,200 a year. It’s imperative that you’re safe when you’re working and that you avoid injuries, as it can cost you life or limb.
Though most business owners and employers take precautions, you must also be extra cautious as you do your job. Even the companies with the best safety plans can have things go wrong, and the employees can be involved in serious accidents.
It’s imperative to be aware of your surroundings and remember that being forewarned is forearmed. Here are the seven most common workplace injuries that you should avoid.
1. Muscle Strains
Muscle strains are a widespread injury, and you can get them from anything from typing on the computer to lifting something too heavy. Whether it’s neck or back pain from sitting too long or a pulled muscle in your back from improper lifting, there are many things you can do to avoid these injuries. Using proper lifting techniques as well as observing adequate posture while sitting can help prevent needless injuries.
You can fall victim to a fire or explosion at your job. Common issues include open flames, wiring issues, faulty gas lines, and combustible materials in your space; it can cause disfigurement or severe burns. Learning evacuation techniques in case of an emergency can save lives.
3. Stress Injuries
Stress injuries are usually subtle, but these issues become worse with time. Did you know that it’s not uncommon to develop musculoskeletal disorders when you do repetitive tasks for extended periods?
One of the most common injuries is back pain that comes from being on an assembly line. You can also harm your back through the repeated lifting of heavy objects in places like warehouses. The long-term health implications are profound, and did you know that it’s very costly for employers?
From herniated, ruptured, slipped, bulging, and degenerative discs, employers are paying an estimated $45 – $54 billion annually, according to the CDC.
Did you know that conditions like spondylolisthesis are commonplace? This is a painful crack or stress fracture that occurs within the spine. Thankfully, spondylolisthesis treatment is typically non-surgically based and can help to alleviate the discomfort.
A back injury can alter your life permanently, so you must be proactive when doing repetitive tasks. If possible, you should wear a back brace, the proper shoes, and take breaks when necessary. These serious issues can be painful as well as emotionally and physically draining.
4. Injuries from Fights
Work can be a frustrating place to be, and not everyone is going to get along. When employees are stressed to the max, they can take out their anger on one another. Physical altercations can be severe and can result in issues like broken bones. Learning to manage your stress effectively and getting help for stressful issues can prevent these altercations from occurring. Always reach out to a manager if you are experiencing a problem with a coworker.
5. Blunt Force Trauma
Not only do you need to worry about falling at work, but you must also be aware of falling objects. Whether lifting paper off a high shelf or something falling in the warehouse, you can be seriously hurt from heavy items.
Things must be stacked correctly and in proper storage containers. If an item is used frequently, like office supplies, it should be kept lower where they’re easier to access.
6. Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slip, trip accidents can happen in a warehouse or an office space. Common things that cause such issues are carpeting, uneven or broken floorboards, or wires. It’s effortless to have one of these incidents if you’re rushed.
While you might think that you would need to fall from scaffolding for it to be life-threatening, you can trip and hit your head on something hard and cause major issues. No matter how much of a hurry you’re in, make sure you pay attention to your surroundings.
7. Broken Bones
Broken bones are a common work incident. They are more prevalent when there are forklifts, moving trucks, and other vehicles in a warehouse environment. On the road, workers are also at an increased risk of dangerous accidents, especially if they fall asleep at the wheel.
Knowing your limits is important, especially if you’ve worked more than you should. Many accidents can be avoided if people are adequately rested and trained before they get behind the wheel. Also, trying to work extra hours may be good for the paycheck, but it increases the risk of an incident.
Are You Protected?
Are you doing enough to protect yourself at work? Is your employer concerned about the safety and has a protocol in place? By making a few alterations to your daily work habits, you can lower the risks of being another statistic of a workplace injury.