While the potential types of workplace injuries are as varied as the workers who suffer them, there are some commonalities among injury claims that qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
This post will discuss some common on-the-job injury scenarios, and how to prevent them.
Slips/trips and falls
Slipping and falling makes up a startling one-third of all workplace injuries. The reasons for these accidents vary widely, but proper safety procedures can help prevent them.
- Causes of slips: wet floors, flooring without the proper degree of traction, weather hazards, loose rugs or flooring
- Causes of trips: insufficient lighting, disorganization, dropped items, obstructed views, uncovered cables
Keeping floors clear of obstructions and clutter, securing throw rugs, ensuring that spills are promptly cleaned and setting procedures to deal with weather hazards can help prevent workplace slips, trips and falls.
Overexertion and repetitive stress/strain injuries
Anyone who works on an assembly line, at a computer, has to lift heavy materials or isn’t given adequate breaks during the day is at risk for repetitive stress and strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, and nerve impingement or damage. Similarly, overexerting muscles without proper precautions and breaks leads to back injuries and pain, something that accounts for one-third of all workplace injury claims, and results in nationwide fiscal losses of $7.4 billion each year.
Causes of overexertion and repetitive strain injuries include:
- Improper lifting: remember to always lift with your legs instead of your back, and to engage your core muscles
- Heavy objects: regularly lifting objects 50 pounds of more without assistance (either personal or mechanical) can easily cause injury
- Intensive computer work: sitting at a computer and typing all day may not seem particularly strenuous on the body, but it actually can result in serious nerve damage and back pain
- Not taking adequate breaks: it is vitally important to give taxed muscles a chance to recover to prevent injury