Understanding Common Workplace Injuries
Injuries in the workplace are more common than we think. According to the National Safety Council, 4 million workers suffered from a job-related injury or illness in 2020. Many injuries can occur on the job, from slips and falls to overexertion.
Workers need to understand what these injuries are so they can be appropriately taken care of and prevent them from happening again. Let’s look at some of the most common workplace injuries and what you should do if you experience one.
Slips and Falls
Slips and falls are among the most common injuries in any workplace setting—especially when there’s a lot of foot traffic or wet surfaces. These accidents can cause minor bruises or severe head trauma, depending on how extreme the fall is.
Ensure your workplace is organized, clean, and clutter-free to prevent slips and falls. Wear non-slip shoes, use handrails when available, keep floors dry, use appropriate ladders for high spots, and watch for uneven surfaces that could cause tripping hazards.
Overexertion occurs when employees strain their muscles due to repetitive motions, heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, and carrying objects that are too heavy to handle alone. Even prolonged periods of sitting or standing in one position can result in injuries.
Overexertion can lead to severe muscle strains or sprains, which could require physical therapy or even surgery to recover fully. To avoid overexertion injuries, try these tips:
Make sure you use proper form when lifting objects.
Don’t lift more than you can handle.
Take breaks throughout your shift.
Stretch regularly ask for help with heavy objects.
Be sure to use ergonomic furniture when possible.
Keep your workspace organized.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries (RMIs) occur when an employee performs the same motion over an extended time without rest or breaks between movements. This injury often affects hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, back, or feet due to continuous typing on a keyboard or using machinery without a break.
To reduce the risk of RMI occurring at work, employers must provide adequate training on using equipment safely and taking regular breaks throughout their shifts so you don’t need to rush through tasks. It is also essential to take note if you feel aches or pains developing in any part of your body. During work hours and immediately after work, stop to rest and seek medical attention if in pain or necessary.