The Most Common Workplace Injuries and How to Avoid Them
There’s nothing worse than getting injured at work. After all, aside from the physical suffering involved, the injury can put your job on the line, cause unexpected financial hardship, and create a bucket load of stress in the process.
Unfortunately, workplace injuries are far from a rare occurrence. Indeed, they’re said to occur every 7 seconds in the United States! That’s a staggering statistic by anyone’s standards.
It just goes to show how many hidden dangers can lurk at work. However, some are definitely more prevalent than others! Do you want to learn more about the most common workplace injuries so you can take action to avoid them?
Well, you’re in the right place! Keep reading to discover a selection of widespread work-related injuries and what you can do to prevent them from happening.
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
RSI’s a debilitating condition that occurs when you perform the same movements over and over again. It causes nasty symptoms such as pain, discomfort, and stiffness in the affected area.
This condition’s particularly common in workplaces such as factories and warehouses. After all, whether they’re lifting, assembling, or transporting items from place to place, employees in these environments often repeat the same task for hours at a time.
The same goes for office workers, though. These guys and gals can spend all day on the computer with their wrists in a fixed position. The result? RSI can develop over time.
Avoiding RSI comes down to taking regular breaks and giving at-risk areas of the body a rest. Stand up, sit down, stretch out, and mix things up in your approach to work in order to allay its onset!
Muscle strains are ubiquitous in a wide array of industries, especially those involving a lot of heavy lifting. As you can imagine, warehouses and factory workers are at particular risk here as well.
All the lifting, twisting, hauling, and loading involved can take its toll on your body. Backs, knees, necks, and shoulders can all suffer in the short and long term. They get sore, stiff and may lose some level of functioning as a result.
Avoiding muscle strains often comes down to good training. Indeed, people need to be taught how to lift things properly before they start the job in question! Throw in the use of PPE (such as back supports and knee braces), and you’re onto a winner.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
People slip, trip, and fall at work on a regular basis too.
It doesn’t matter whether they’re working in a kitchen, an office, a supermarket, or a factory. Unseen spillages and items sticking out can cause a world of trouble!
Landing awkwardly or tumbling into something solid and sharp can cause a wide range of injuries. Head injuries, sprains, breaks, lacerations, and bruises are just a few of the negative outcomes that can (and do) arise in the workplace.
Falling from a height can, of course, do serious damage. Imagine somebody working on a ladder, a roof, or scaffolding. In worst-case scenarios, falling in these situations can have fatal implications.
Alas, avoiding slips, trips, and falls can be easier said than done. Yet vigilance, cleaning up as soon as spillages arise, and using appropriate gear and PPE can make a difference. You can prevent them from occurring and reduce the impact if/when they do.
Struck by Falling Objects
Some people have the misfortune of coming into contact with falling objects. In the wrong place at the wrong time, an item drops from above and strikes whoever’s working below.
The impact it has depends on the item itself and the height from which it falls. However, an object doesn’t have to be all that heavy or fall from all that high to cause significant injuries! Even something seemingly innocuous dropping from a cupboard or locker can do damage.
Avoiding these problems usually comes down to the employer. It’s up to them to ensure that:
- Shelves, cupboards, and storage cages are of an adequate standard, and
- They monitor the situation to make sure everything continues to be stored safely over time.
As an employee, it’s up to you to report any risks that you notice! By staying on top of the situation, you can reduce the likelihood of these accidents occurring.
Lacerations and Bruises
Cuts, bruises, and lacerations are further examples of injuries that can happen anywhere at any time. Whether you’re a lumberjack or a bartender, there’s always the chance of suffering these types of issues.
As you know, though, their severity varies. These injuries can range from life-threatening wounds to minor annoyances, from the deepest gashes to the smallest incisions. They’re best avoided in either case, though!
Once again, make sure there’s appropriate PPE in use and that you have a well-stocked first-aid kit close by. Having the right training for using dangerous equipment will be important too.
Loud Noises & Toxic Materials
Exposure to loud noises and toxic materials are the perfect example of preventable workplace injuries. If the right processes are in place, the appropriate gear’s provided, and a risk assessment’s done, then they should never happen.
Alas, all too many individuals suffer in this way regardless.
Whether it’s the constant whirring of industrial engines or the banging of machinery, many employees suffer hearing damage as a result of loud noises at work. Likewise, coming into contact with things like chemicals and asbestos can have catastrophic short and long-term consequences.
As we noted, PPE, training, and risk assessments are vital for avoiding the same fate.
Remember These Common Workplace Injuries
Countless workplace injuries happen every year in America.
As we’ve seen, though, some accidents and their physical effects are more prevalent than others! We hope this post has highlighted the most common workplace injuries so you can take steps to avoid them.
Have you or somebody you know been injured at work and want professional medical care to facilitate recovery? We can help! Contact us today to book an appointment with one of our doctors.