Accidents and injuries frequently occur in the workplace, costing the firm and the employee valuable time and money. It is so frequent that an employee gets injured on the job each second, according to the National Safety Council. Though there has been a significant reduction in work-related injuries and fatality rates over the years due to increased workplace health and safety measures, much work still needs to be done to reduce the number to zero.
There is a need for an employee to teach their employees the importance of basic first aid and measures they should take while performing first aid to prevent them from contracting common STDs like HIV. This is because these injuries are the top of workers’ claims that can cost the company a lot of money.
The most common workplace injuries are slips and falls, cuts, strains, collisions and crushes, and overexertion. Fortunately, you can prevent these injuries by following Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) guidelines. This article outlines the most common workplace-related injuries and how to prevent them.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls are common work-related injuries that account for one-third of all injuries. These injuries can occur in the head, back, and neck and cause pulled muscles, cuts, broken bones, and sprains.
Slips are caused by occasional spills, loose rugs, and wet surfaces, whether hazards like walkways or icy steps. To prevent slips, you should immediately clean spills, use signage to indicate a wet floor, and encourage your employees to put on non-slip shoes or soles. You should also install handrails in the busy areas of stairs.
Uncovered cables, poor lighting, wrinkled mats or carpeting, uneven walking surfaces, and clutter cause trips. To prevent injuries due to tripping, ensure you have a proper lighting system, invest in quality walking surfaces, and encourage your employees to report areas where there are loose cables, clutter, and any obstruction.
Injuries due to falls occur when employees fall off rooftops, ladders, or skyscrapers in construction areas. If you work in such an environment where falls are imminent, you should equip yourself with what to do when such happens.
Overexertion and Muscle Strains
Many things can cause overexertion injuries, but the common one is improper lifting techniques. This can lead to muscle strains and repetitive strain injuries (RSI). These kinds of injuries can lead to disorders like musculoskeletal, which can be costly to the firm. The kind of injuries caused by overexertion leads to loss of productivity, as they account for about 33% of occupational injuries.
Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are workplace injuries that are on the rise. These injuries are caused by manufacturing, processing, or administrative tasks. They are due to daily movements and work without rest; therefore, short breaks are important.
They can also be caused by constant typing and clicking. Yes, you heard me well. You may think that typing and clicking are not exhausting, but you’re mistaken. They cause muscle and tendon strains.
Improper lifting can also cause these kinds of injuries. Lifting heavy weights strains the back and neck; it is advisable to lift weights with your knees and not your back.
You can prevent these injuries through ergonomics- adjusting the work to fit your body’s needs to prevent injuries and inexpensively. If you assign your workers repetitive tasks, ensure they take frequent breaks to stretch or rest.
Caught in A Moving Object or Being Struck by A Moving Object
These accidents are common in factories or with construction or firm equipment. They can occur when machinery is not properly guarded and exposed moving objects strike body parts. It usually causes worse injuries like severed fingers, blindness, crushed arms, hands, and legs, or even death.
To prevent such injuries, ensure machines are properly guarded, offer proper operator training to your employees, and provide them with protective gear.
While vehicle accidents may not occur in the workplace, they can occur when an employee is on duty. An employee can run by a moving vehicle while on official duty, fall from a vehicle, get crushed by an overturned vehicle, or be struck by objects falling from a vehicle.
You can avoid these accidents by assessing where and when the accident is likely to occur and who is at risk. You should prioritize speed limits and signs and segregate pedestrian and vehicle routes.
Fire and Explosions
Faulty gas lines, open flames, or improper storage of combustible materials usually cause these types of accidents. They lead to varying degrees of burns, damage to the respiratory system, or potential disfigurement. Injuries due to explosions are categorized into four types, namely:
- Primary blasts: These are caused by pressure on body tissues and can affect the lungs, ears, and GI tract.
- Secondary blasts: Occur when flying objects from an explosion strike nearby workers.
- Tertiary blasts: Occur when the explosion is too strong that it lifts somebody
- Quaternary blast includes everything else that occurs after an explosion besides the primary, secondary, and tertiary blasts. They can be crushes, burns, and inhalation of toxic substances.
Box cutters, letter openers, or sharp edges on office equipment can cause cuts. You can prevent this kind of injury by properly training your employees regarding these tools and limiting where these tools can be used and what they should be used for.
Exposure to Harmful Substances or Environments
Those working in an environment that’s noisy or are exposed to hazardous chemicals can get injuries to their skin, ears, eyes, and respiratory systems.
These workers should wear proper protective gear like safety goggles, gloves, ear protection, or other protective gear.
Workplace injuries are common, and it is upon the company to look at ways to prevent them from occurring because, ultimately, workers will file claims that can be costly to the firm.
There are most common workplace injuries, and accidents are slips, trips, falls, overexertion and muscle strains, crashes and collisions, exposure to harmful substances, cuts, etc.