Each year around the globe, millions and millions of people suffer from workplace accidents or injuries that cause them pain, discomfort, time off work, and even permanent damage or, sadly, death.
From machinery and vehicle accidents, to slips, trips, and falls, biochemical incidents, electrocutions and more, there are many different potential hazards that can cause issues on the job and cost businesses time, money, and reputation.
Leaders must not only try to stay safe themselves at work, but also keep all of their team safe as well. While you can never ensure complete, 100 percent safety for your workers, you can dramatically reduce the likelihood that anyone will get hurt if you follow some simple tips. Read on for the rundown of some of the most common workplace accidents and injuries, as well as some things you and your staff can do to avoid them.
Trips, slips, and falls
While people in different industries often have different types of hazards to be wary of at work, one of the issues that comes up time and again on the job for workers in all sectors is injuries caused due to trips, slips, and falls.
Oftentimes these problems stem from employees lifting items or completing various manual handling tasks. People regularly injure their neck, head or back when taking a tumble, or end up with sprains or strains to body parts such as arms and ankles.
While inexperienced workers are the most at risk of falling over, tripping, or slipping when handling items, even the most accomplished staff members can end up getting hurt if they’re not careful or if workspaces are hazardous.
Keep in mind that injuries don’t just happen because people lift or carry heavy loads. While this is common, employees also often get hurt because they handle objects in uncomfortable or awkward ways (such as restraining items, holding them for too long, or pushing or pulling them).
To decrease the number of injuries which occur due to trips, slips, and falls, it is important for workers to be taught proper lifting techniques, and how to maintain correct posture. All working environments, from offices through to large workshops and factories, should also be scanned regularly for potential hazards which could trip people over. All areas where employees walk should also be kept clean and dry to avoid slips and falls.
Furthermore, cramped workspaces should be tidied up and cleared out as much as possible; and items located at heights and/or which have awkward shapes or heavy weights should be handled very carefully. Workers should try never to bend, reach far, or twist to move items, and should take advantage of mechanical aids, or enlist the help of co-workers, to get large, bulky, or heavy objects relocated.
If employees are concerned that a job will be too risky to be completed safely, they should be encouraged to speak to their supervisors. Plans can then be put in place to develop better options which reduce the risk of harm to personnel.
Another common hazard on the job is falling objects. Indeed, many workers are hurt each year because they suffer head injuries or other ailments when heavy objects fall from shelves or are accidently dropped by coworkers.
To reduce the risk of this type of injury from occurring, team members should be encouraged to wear appropriate personal protection gear when working in areas with items stored up high or in other environments where falling objects could be an issue. Hard hats in particular are important. As well, shelving should never be overloaded, as this can make it more likely that it will fall over and workers will be hurt.
Repetitive motion injuries
With so many people spending eight or more hours per day on computers and other devices for their job, or completing other repetitive motions such as working on jackhammers or other jarring equipment, it’s no wonder that repetitive motion injuries are another very common issue in the workplace.
Although RSI and other related health concerns don’t happen overnight, they can easily build up over time and become particularly debilitating and painful in the long run, causing many workers to have to have a lot of time off or even retire early.
Repetitive motions, such as writing, typing, working on computers, and the like can lead to strained muscles and tendons in the body. The arms, neck and hands are particularly vulnerable to stress. In turn, this can then cause people to experience extreme back pain, problems with their vision, and/or carpal tunnel syndrome.
To avoid these types of work-related injuries, staff members should always use the best types of ergonomic equipment which help to reduce stress on the body. As well, workers should learn to practice healthy postures, and remember to take regular breaks for stretches.
If you or your team suffer from an injury or illness caused by an accident or other workplace issue, legal advice may be required. If so, consider seeking help from a specialist, such as these Texas accident lawyers who understand the ins and outs of workers’ compensation cases.
Tiffany Rowe is the Marketing Administrator at Seek Visibility.