About 2.5 million employees were taken to the emergency room in 2018 due to workplace injuries. Over 65% of these injuries happened to male employees.
Accidents and injuries at the office happen more than you’d think. There are specific incidents that are the most common workplace injuries. Keep reading to learn more about them so that you and your employees can stay safe at work.
Falls Are the Most Common Workplace Injuries
Slipping and falling is one of the most seen and treated workplace injuries. It can occur whether you work at an office, retail outlet, or factory. Tripping and getting hurt also occur often in many different workplace settings.
It’s important to be aware of your surroundings, as something as simple as a misplaced rug can cause you to trip and fall. These injuries are preventable and it’s important that your workplace takes every precaution to do so.
This means that wet floors need signs. Spills should be cleaned up immediately. Any type of loose items should be picked up and cords need securing so that employees don’t accidentally trip over them.
Injuries Related to Overexertion
Overexertion is another preventable workplace injury with proper safety precautions and training. Overexertion often occurs when employees move or lift objects at work that are too heavy or without the proper equipment.
Overexertion can also lead to strains and sprains. One of the most common is carpal tunnel syndrome. This occurs when a pinched nerve in the wrist leads to numbness and weakness in the hand.
This type of strain is often the result of the repetitive nature of typing at work. This injury can become serious and require surgery. Prevention is possible with breaks and stretching as well as having an ergonomic workspace.
Other muscle strains can occur in the back or neck. Using the right techniques when lifting or moving things at work can prevent these injuries. Knowing the correct posture and using the appropriate chair at your work desk can also help prevent back strain and pain.
Other workplace injuries include accidents involving moving vehicles. A company car could get into a fender bender or an 18-wheeler truck could turn over or there’s a crash with a forklift at the worksite.
Any of these accidents can lead to severe injury or even death.
If a car accident occurs away from the workplace but the travel is work-related, this is still considered a workplace accident. Seatbelts and training with any complex machinery will prevent these accidents and injuries from occurring.
Injury From Work Equipment
You might think that getting injured by something that falls only occurs on dangerous factory floors. But even small items falling off shelves can cause injury. If a falling item hits an employee in the head, this type of injury can become serious.
Teaching employees proper techniques for storage can prevent these injuries from occurring. It’s also important for employees to wear protective equipment like helmets or gloves if the job requires it.
Cuts or burns from misusing work equipment can also occur. It’s important that employees receive training before using any type of equipment they aren’t familiar with.
A Fall From a Height
Falling from a height is next on the list of work injuries. These injuries occur in industries like construction or roofing and can lead to serious injury or death. A fall from a ladder or scaffolding is the most common way this injury occurs.
Extreme caution should be taken when working from height. Make sure your employees have received proper working at height training to avoid such consequences. The correct footwear is crucial to avoid slipping and falling. Non-fatal injuries from a fall of that magnitude could have lifelong consequences and keep you out of work for months.
Injuries Resulting From Collisions
It might seem silly, but walking into an item at work can lead to injury.
Whether you collide into a door or table, it can be painful. A collision with an object can be severe if there’s enough force, so alertness is always required to avoid this type of injury.
Workplace injury prevention is crucial to protecting the livelihood of all employees. The SafetyFOCUS: Risk Assessment and Management event can help you learn about the risk of injury at your organization. You’ll also learn what improvements can be made to ensure more safety.
Fights Can Lead to Injury
Your workplace should be one that upholds professionalism at all times. Still, disagreements can sometimes lead to physical confrontations. No employee wants to see their place of work turn into such a hostile environment.
These confrontations can, of course, lead to injuries with the involved parties. They can be avoided, however, by implementing policies that allow employees to air out their grievances with coworkers. This way problems can be addressed before they become explosive.
Injury From Toxic Substances
Workplace injury statistics will show that exposure to toxic substances accounts for a large part of employee illnesses and injuries. There are many workplaces that handle hazardous substances and doing so improperly can affect the people who work there.
Certain chemicals may injure your skin, while more severe ones can lead to cancer. Inhaling certain fumes can lead to problems in the lungs. These types of injuries can cause diseases that can keep you out of work for extended periods of time.
The Most Common Workplace Injuries to Know About
Workplace injuries can vary from minor to more severe. Some of the most common workplace injuries are listed above.
The good news is that many of these are preventable if proper precautions and training are implemented for all employees.
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