Even though we live in a world where health and safety is considered to be very important, serious workplace injuries still happen all too often. They occur across all occupational sectors, with people working in different jobs facing different hazards. The working environment can be a very hazardous place to find yourself and the responsibility for ensuring a safe working environment lies not only with the employer but each employee too. This guide has been put together to help you be more aware and thereby forearmed of eight common workplace injuries.
1. Muscle Strain
If you regularly lift heavy objects at work, you’ll be aware of the stress it puts your body under. The most common strains are in the back and the neck. These injuries can be avoided by using proper lifting techniques
2. Repetitive Strain Injuries
A variety of tasks can cause RSI, for example, forceful or repetitive activity or poor posture. It’s a condition that tends to affect upper parts of the body such as shoulders and neck, forearm, elbow, wrist, and hands. Vibration white finger is a similar kind of injury and can occur when a person uses power tools for long periods. Constant vibration from tools such as chainsaws, sanders, or large drills damages joints, nerves, and blood vessels in the fingers and hand. Companies such as The Compensation Experts can help if you need to claim compensation for such an injury.
3. Slips, Trips, and Falls
One-third of all personal workplace injuries are the result of a slip, trip or fall. Injuries include broken bones, cuts, sprains, lacerations, pulled muscles, head and back injuries. Slips tend to occur when there is a wet or oily surface, spillage, weather hazards, loose rugs or mats. Trips generally happen when a person’s view is obstructed, lighting is poor, and if there is uncovered cables, uneven walking surfaces, clutter, and wrinkled carpets. Preventing these accidents is easy. Spills should be cleaned up promptly; proper footwear should be provided, walking surfaces kept clear and free from clutter.
4. Cuts and Lacerations
If you work in an office, there are any number of office implements that can leave their mark. Paper trimmers, hole punches, scissors, letter openers, even a piece of paper can cut you. Risks can be reduced and eliminated with adequate safety equipment, the right safety procedures and adequate training for all employees.
5. Exposure to Loud Noise
Hearing can be damaged permanently if there is loud noise where you work. The loss is often gradual because you’ve been exposed to noise over some time. Sudden, extremely loud noises can also cause damage. Wearing ear defenders can help prevent this type of injury.
6. Fire and Explosions
Fires and explosions can be caused by poor pipefitting, faulty gas lines, incorrectly stored combustible materials or open flames. The number of fires and explosions is relatively low; however, they do have the highest casualty rate of all workplace accidents.
7. Vehicle-Related Accidents
Accidents include being struck or run over by a moving vehicle, falling from a vehicle, being hit by objects falling from a vehicle and getting crushed or struck. They are a common cause of fatalities in the agriculture industry.
8. Falling from Heights
This type of incident happens when people are working on roofs, ladders, and stairways. They could be the result of faulty equipment, slip or fall accidents. If employees are trained and have the proper personal protective equipment, this type of accident can be reduced.