The Most Common Causes of Work Injuries
Workplace injuries can have a host of negative consequences – for both employers and employees. Companies may face decreased work morale, reduced worker productivity, increased insurance rates, and workers’ comp claims. The sick or injured employee may have a difficult recovery, extended time off work, reduced income, and even social embarrassment due to their injury.
Employers must do their best to ensure a safe and productive work environment, while employees should always be extra vigilant and careful in performing daily tasks.
Avoid risks by being aware of these common causes of work injuries and illnesses:
This is the number one cause of workplace injury, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Common accidents may be related to too much physical exertion in terms of lifting, pushing bending, holding, reaching, crawling, and kneeling. Even if your job does not require you to lift heavy loads, light loads such as books or files can cause injuries to your body if you don’t use proper techniques.
If your tasks push you beyond a reasonable limit to stay on top of your workload, you may be subject to physical and/or mental exhaustion. This may lead to impaired judgment, slower reflexes when operating machinery, and delayed response in emergency situations.
Slips, trips, and falls
These factors are some of the leading causes of disabling workplace injury. Accidents can occur when drawers are left open, chairs are used instead of ladders to reach high objects, loose electrical cords and wiring are left exposed, spills are not mopped up immediately, and many other innocent occurrences.
Furniture that is not secured properly, or objects that are in dangerous locations put workers at risk. Bookcases can fall from too much weight, desks can topple during earthquakes, or bumping into an object may cause many other items to fall.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common ailment for workers who are engaged in repetitive motion that put pressure on the median nerve.
Lack of warning around hazardous materials can cause sickness for employees who are not wearing the proper protective gear. Companies must make protective clothing, eye wear, and gloves mandatory for all employees who will be around chemicals or other toxic substances. Slip-ups may lead to burns, explosions, blindness, and other traumatic injuries.
All employees and managers must stay alert when it comes to potentially violent situations at work. Do not let arguments between coworkers go unresolved – especially when it comes to sexual harassment or assault accusations.