In today’s workplace, it is not uncommon to find a variety of injuries. Whether these are from lifting heavy objects or from repetitive motions, they can harm the body and cause discomfort for years to come.
The most recent data from the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports an estimated 2.9 million non-fatal workplace accidents in private companies throughout 2020. The BLS organizes its information in several ways, including the nature of the workplace injury, business size, and industry. Of course, some industries have a higher chance of causing workplace injuries than others.
For instance, the construction industry has some of the most common workplace injuries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), construction workers make up one out of every five work-related deaths in private industry in our country.
However, even seemingly safe environments like an office or a grocery store present a risk of severe injuries. For example, you could be a receptionist who types eight hours a day leading to a repetitive motion injury or a grocery worker that spends hours on your feet leading to an overexertion injury. Here are some of the most common work-related injuries and how to prevent them.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, slip and falls are the most common workplace accidents and account for more than a third of non-fatal accidents. They often occur when employees slip on wet or oily surfaces, trip over cords or obstacles in walkways, or fall from heights.
Prevent slips, trips, and falls by keeping your work area clean and free of clutter, making sure walkways are well-lit and clear of obstacles, wearing shoes with good traction, and using caution when walking in icy conditions.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
This type of injury is considered cumulative trauma caused by excessive repetition of the same motion. It can affect any part of the body but is most common in the hands, wrists, neck, and shoulders.
Employees can prevent repetitive motion injuries by taking frequent breaks, stretching their muscles regularly, and using ergonomic equipment whenever possible.
This type of workplace injury often occurs when people lift heavy objects without proper techniques, such as mechanical lifting equipment or failing to use protective gear. It can cause back pain, neck pain, and injuries to the shoulder, wrist and can lead to lasting physical harm.
Prevent lifting injuries by using proper lifting strategies such as bending at the knees and tightening stomach muscles to support your back.
More than one million workers suffer chemical burns each year. These burns can occur when workers are exposed to corrosive chemicals or contact flammable liquids.
To help prevent chemical burns, Make sure you know how to safely handle chemicals, wear protective clothing, and use protective equipment when necessary store chemicals in a safe place, away from children and pets and if you come into contact with a harmful chemical, take the proper precautions and rinse your skin with water immediately.
Overexertion workplace injuries occur when an employee works too hard for too long. It can cause pain in the back, neck, and shoulders and fatigue and stress.
Avoid overexertion injuries by taking regular breaks to rest your body, stretching your muscles regularly, and drinking plenty of water.
Job-related injuries caused by violence occur when employees are attacked or threatened by other people. They can cause physical and emotional injuries, missed workdays, and sometimes lead to worker deaths.
To avoid these injuries, employees should be aware of their surroundings and immediately report any threats or violent behavior to a supervisor. In addition, employers can avoid workplace violence injuries if they provide violence training.
This type of injury can occur when an employee is caught in or pulled into machinery. It can cause cuts, bruises, broken bones, and even death.
Ensuring all heavy machinery is turned off, using proper safety measures, and keeping away from unnecessary hazards are ways to prevent entanglement injuries.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents occur when an employee is involved in an accident while on the job. These injuries vary from non-fatal injuries to long-lasting injuries. Employees who often drive motor vehicles are in the trucking industry are often in accidents.
To prevent motor vehicle accidents, employees should follow all traffic laws and regulations, drive defensively, and never drink and drive or talk and text on the phone while driving. Employers should also make sure that company cars are up to standard and using the proper safety procedures to keep their employees safe.
Loss of Sight
More than three million workers experience vision problems each year due to their job duties. These problems can include eye strain, blurred vision, and headaches.
To help prevent vision problems, take breaks often to rest your eyes, avoid working in a brightly lit area, wear sunglasses when outside, and wear safety goggles in a workplace where you are exposed to harmful substances.
This type of injury can occur when a falling object hits an employee or another object strikes them in motion. Falling objects can be a foot injury, crush injuries, or other related injuries.
To prevent this type of injury, be sure to wear proper protection and follow all safety precautions related to your job. In addition, keep the work area clean and free of hazards.
Other Workplace injuries
Here are a few other injuries classified as workplace injuries.
A common workplace injury, especially in industries such as construction and manufacturing. To prevent hearing loss, always use ear protection when necessary and keep the volume of your music or other audio devices low.
Soreness and Pain
A general term can describe several different types of injuries, such as neck pain, joint pain, and headaches. To reduce the risk of developing soreness and pain, take breaks often to move your body, stretch regularly, and adjust your workstation to fit your needs.
Often caused by compression or entrapment, nerve damage can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as tingling, pain, numbness, and weakness. To reduce your risk, be sure to use the correct posture when working and take breaks often to move around.
There are more than 200,000 electric shock injuries each year in the United States. Many of these accidents occur at work.
To avoid being injured by electricity, always follow safety precautions and be aware of your surroundings. If you do experience an electric shock, seek medical attention immediately.
Safety in The Workplace
While it is impossible to prevent every injury from happening, a few things can be done to avoid employee injuries and help keep them safe. First and foremost, safety should always be the top priority in the workplace. This means having the proper safety equipment and training to avoid potential injuries.
In addition, employers should encourage their workers to report any injuries immediately. This will help to ensure that the injury is treated correctly and does not become worse over time.
If you experience any type of workplace injury, be sure to report it immediately and see a doctor if necessary. By taking these precautions, you can help to reduce your risk of injury and stay safe on the job.
Can You Receive Compensation for Work-Related Injuries?
If you are injured at work, it is important to know your rights. In most cases, employees can receive workers’ compensation for their injuries. This can help cover the costs of medical treatment and lost wages while you are unable to work.
However, not all injuries qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. If you believe you have suffered an injury as a result of your job, it is important to speak with an attorney. They can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of filing a claim.
Injured on the job in North Carolina? Contact Collier Law Today
When policies, training, and protective equipment fail to protect workers from work-related injuries, those who suffer occupational injury or illness deserve to recover benefits. If you have been injured at work, call Collier Law. We understand the pain and frustration that can come with an injury, and we are committed to helping you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.