Injuries in the workplace are very common and they vary depending on the occupational sector. Not all workplaces and occupations are equally dangerous, but to stay on the safe side, here are some of the most frequent injuries workers can sustain while on the job.
In the US, overexertion accounts for almost 33% of occupational injuries. These types of injuries can contribute to decreased productivity and millions of dollars in direct and health benefit pay-out costs. The long-term effects on the employees are potentially debilitating. Causes of exertion are usually related to manually and improperly lifting, pulling and carrying heavy objects as well as working long hours without a break. Proper machinery, such as mechanical lifting equipment, should be provided. In addition, workers should take frequent, short breaks to rest and stretch.
Injuries caused by repetitive motions build up over time until the damage is irreparable. These motions include sitting behind the computer all day, improper posture while doing so, which causes severe back pain, and awkward wrist placement which can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Another common problem caused by this is vision impairment. Injuries like these can be significantly reduced by introducing ergonomic equipment and training the workers on work techniques and proper posture. Moreover, if the job allows it, the tasks should vary among the employees to avoid repetitiveness.
Muscle strain, back and neck strains, in particular, are very common among employees. Similar to overexertion, these types of injuries can also be sustained by improperly lifting heavy objects. One should not wait to contact their doctor, as the injury can worsen if they wait for a long time.
Slips, trips and falls are some of the most common work-related injuries. Soft tissue injuries, cuts and lacerations, and even broken bones are quite easy to obtain this way. This might require a few weeks of chiropractic care in order to go back to work. These injuries most often occur due to wet or oily floors, poor lighting, uncovered cables, or some items that were not put back in their place. The workers should try to always be aware of their surroundings and report in which areas there is clutter or spillage. The employers, on the other hand, should make sure that everything is kept clean and clear and provide the workers with proper footwear.
Falls from heights
Falling from elevated areas, such as roofs and ladders, is immensely dangerous. Every year, several hundred workers die from accidents such as these. Proper and consistent training as well as high-quality protective gear are necessary for preventing these types of incidents.
Falling objects are not a problem just for warehouse employees. This can also happen in any workplace that has high shelves and cupboards. Large or heavy objects can cause serious head injuries to the worker below, ranging from cuts and lacerations to concussions and blindness. Implementing adequate storage solutions and instructing employees on how to properly store items is crucial for preventing these injuries.
Clothing, hair, or body parts can, unfortunately, get caught in exposed moving parts of machines or struck by flying objects. This can result in grisly injuries, from severed and crushed appendages to blindness and even death. That is why protective gear and proper training, as well as maximum focus when operating the machines, are crucial. If anything does happen, the employers should be told immediately and medical professionals have to be called in. Injured individuals can contact personal injury lawyer to see whether they are entitled to workers’ compensation.
Getting injured while driving for business purposes is considered a work-related injury as well. These accidents are quite frequent and can leave drivers with critical injuries. Employees should receive thorough driver training and their driving record should be checked. Wearing a seat belt and following traffic laws is of the essence. Nevertheless, negligence of other people can still lead to an accident. This may result in years of extensive medical treatment and physical therapy to recover.
Some workplaces are riskier than others. If the company deals with hazardous chemicals, they must provide their employees with proper workwear, including goggles and face masks. Without protections, workers can be at risk of inhaling various fumes, gases and vapours, which can lead to breathing impairments, eye or skin reactions or even more serious injuries.
Despite the common belief, work-related injuries are not purely physical. Injuries can also be a direct result of emotional or psychological trauma. This can affect a person’s ability to work effectively. Sexual harassment, workplace intimidation and bullying are all common causes of emotional stress which can even result in PTSD. There is also the issue of fly-in-fly-out workers who have been known to experience increased stress levels, anxiety, mental illness, substance abuse and obesity. Consulting with a professional on how to proceed would be the best course of action here.
These are just some of the work-related injuries that can occur in the workplace. However, as long as the equipment is adequate and maintained regularly and the workers are rested and focused, there should be no major problems.