Common Workplace Injuries and How to Avert Them

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Workplace injuries can be costly to a business, especially when accidents happen out of negligence. Small and mature business owners need to strive to provide safer working environments by adhering to OSHA guidelines.

1. Slips & falls

According to the personal injury website, slips and falls are one of the most common types of workplace-related injuries, accounting for almost a third of all reported incidences. Slips and falls can result in head injuries, bone fractures, sprains, torn muscles, and spinal injuries. 

Slips and falls at the workplace can occur due to the following:

  • Wet or oily walking surfaces due to spillage or weather hazards such as hail storm
  • Poor lighting conditions which affect worker visibility
  • Cluttered and uneven working spaces
  • Loose rugs and wrinkled carpets
  • Falling from ladders

These accidents are preventable if employers commit to improving the quality of working spaces by doing the following:

  • Ensuring there’s sufficient lighting
  • Providing appropriate footwear
  • Provide clear warning signs for wet floors and other hazards

2. Muscle strains and overextension injuries

Overextension injuries such as muscle pulls and other musculoskeletal injuries cost employers billions in employee compensation claims annually. Besides causing productivity and financial loss to employers and their workforce, overextension injuries can be severe and lead to a life of pain and despair for the affected individuals. 

Overextension complications can occur due to the following:

  • Improper handling of heavy objects leads to back problems
  • Intensive manual work without breaks leads to wear and tear of muscles

Best preventive measures include:

  • Providing specialized equipment for handling heavy objects
  • Training employees on job safety and equipment handling
  • Providing adequate work breaks to prevent worker fatigue and repetitive stress complications

3. Injuries from falling objects

Thousands of workers annually incur injuries from falling objects, sharp surfaces, and tipping over heavy gear. Workers struck by falling objects can suffer bone fractures, blindness, and severe head injuries. 

Employers can avoid these types of injuries by taking the following measures:

  • Avoid overhead storage of heavy equipment
  • Decluttering working spaces to remove unwanted gear and materials
  • Using the right protective personal gear
  • Adhering to OSHA guidelines on workplace safety

4. Crashes and impact injuries

Impact injuries may occur due to the following:

  • Inappropriate handling of forklifts and cranes
  • Car crashes
  • Drunk driving
  • Being trapped under an overturned vehicle

Many workplace collisions and crashes are avoidable when there’s proper training on forklifts, heavy machinery handling, and proper use of safety belts. Most importantly, employees should avoid driving and operating machinery when drunk.

5. Explosions and fire-related injuries

Though rare, explosions and fire-related events have a high fatality rate and often cause significant property damage at the workplace. Besides disfiguring body tissues, fire events can lead to respiratory complications in the long run. During an explosion, flying debris and structure collapse can cause severe bodily harm to employees and staff. 

Fire-related events are preventable by adopting high fire safety standards, which include proper handling of hazardous chemicals, and providing fireproof gear and fire extinguishing equipment.

Interesting Related Article: “Preventing Work Injuries: Tips for Safer Working Conditions