Workplace injuries occur every 7 seconds for a variety of reasons including fatigue, accidents, and carelessness. While some work related injuries can’t be prevented, others are avoidable. Following protocol, wearing the proper equipment, and being mindful of your body and surroundings can all help prevent work related injuries. This article details 6 common workplace injuries and how to avoid them.
1. Muscle Strains
Muscle strains happen most often on jobs that involve heavy lifting. If your job requires you to lift heavy boxes, equipment, or even people, you’re at greater risk for experiencing a muscle strain. The most common strains occur in the lower back, neck, and shoulders. You can prevent these injuries by being self-aware and always lifting with proper form. Be honest with yourself about your limitations. Don’t try to lift or move any object that far exceeds the weight you’re accustomed to. When you do lift anything from the floor, bend from your knees and use your legs to help you stand up. Bending straight over or lifting using only the muscles in your arms and back will inevitably result in a strain or pulled muscle. If you experience this type of injury at work, adequate rest, heat or ice, over the counter pain relief medication, and a visit to your doctor or chiropractor might help. Read more now about chiropractic adjustments for your neck and back.
2. Cuts and Lacerations
Depending on your work environment, cuts and lacerations are a real and very serious concern. Anyone working in a kitchen using knives and other sharp equipment is at risk of accidentally slicing, stabbing, or cutting themselves. Construction workers, welders, plumbers, and other blue collar workers handling heavy machinery with lots of moving parts may also experience an accidental cut or laceration. When treating these types of injuries, time is of the essence. Following a severe injury that involves bleeding can result in death within minutes. It all depends on the severity of the cut, where the patient is bleeding from, how soon help arrives, and the individual’s overall health. If you or someone you know experiences a cut or laceration at work, act fast. Quickly apply pressure to the injury with a clean rag or cloth, stopping blood flow. Call emergency services immediately and don’t remove the cloth until help arrives. It’s important to play close attention whenever using sharp objects or machinary in the workplace. Focus on what you’re doing, try not to multitask, and never look away while using sharp tools.
3. Slips and Falls
These types of work related injuries are often a result of carelessness on the part of the employer or work establishment. Slips and falls occur when a surface is left wet or icy without being properly treated or cleaned. Tripping over fallen objects or other messes left in high-traffic areas can also cause an employee to fall. These types of accidents can cause a long list of injuries and complications ranging from concussions and sprains to fractured bones and lacerations. The best way to avoid these types of injuries is to be aware of your surroundings. Always look where you’re walking and keep an eye out for water, ice, or other obstructions. When possible, clean up any spills or messes as soon as they occur. You should also invest in slip-resistant shoes that are sturdy and reduce your risk of slipping on a slick surface.
4. Falling Objects
This is an uncommon event but workplace injuries do occur when a large or heavy object falls onto an employee. These types of injuries are most common in factories, warehouses, and on job sites where heavy items and materials are overhead. In a factory or warehouse, large boxes and palettes are sometimes stacked high above your head. If one of these items is jarred loose, it could fall down onto you, causing serious injury or even death. Job sites often have heavy equipment with lots of moving parts. Swinging cranes, buckets, and flying debris can easy hit a worker in the head or send materials falling down. That’s why wearing a hard hat and being aware of your surroundings is so important in this line of work.
Crashes and collisions are just as common at work as they are on the road. If your job involves driving a vehicle of any kind, you’re at risk of being involved in a crash or collision. Whenever driving a vehicle, it’s important to wear your seatbelt and pay close attention to your surroundings. Delivery drivers in large box trucks, vans, and 18-wheelers are especially prone to accidents due to lack of visibility. These vehicles are equipped with large mirrors and caution signs, warning other drivers to leave plenty of space on either side. This helps prevent unnecessary crashes. Driving smaller vehicles and machinery including forklifts, backhoes, and even golf carts, can also result in crashes and injuries. Any time you’re in control of a moving vehicle, you need to proceed with caution. Vehicle crashes can cause countless injuries from whiplash or strained muscles to broken bones or death.
6. Repetitive Stress Injuries
Any time you repeat the same motion for an extended period of time, it can cause wear and tear on that body part. Repetitive stress injuries (RSI) are fairly common in the workplace and cause either by the repetition of the same task or poor posture while performing certain work functions. Many RSI occur in the upper body, including the neck, shoulder, wrists, hands, forearms, and elbows. Factory workers who work on an assembly line, repeating the same movements with their arms and hands for several hours each day are at risk for RSI. These types of injuries are progressive, meaning you may not experience immediate pain or discomfort. These feelings often set in when the injury is already present and serious damage is done. You can prevent RSI by changing position periodically, stretching, taking breaks, or using different motions to complete the same job or task.
Workplace injuries are inconvenient for both employees and the employers. As the employer, an injured worker means being short-staffed and incurring workman’s compensation fees. This affects production and your bottom line. As the injured employee, you too are out of work and may incur unexpected medical bills. Serious injuries that occur in the workplace can impact your life forever and may require surgery and continued care. Following safety precautions and being aware of your surroundings are two key steps in avoiding workplace injuries and remaining healthy on the job.
Article Submitted By Community Writer