Workplace injuries have become one of the most important factors business owners put great attention to. Minimizing their occurrence allows operations to continue smoothly, maintain employee safety, and reduce losses in time, resources, and claims.
But accidents still do happen that is why there are a lot of regulations and safety standards imposed by international organizations to minimize them.
Here are some of the common workplace injuries that still occur today:
1. Slip, Trips, and Falls
It’s one of the most common accidents you might encounter in a workplace, regardless if you’re in a shop, office, factory, or outside you are likely to step on a slippery surface or get tripped by some impediments. This becomes very dangerous if you’re working at height, carrying heavy loads, or handling hazardous substances.
In 2018, retail stores recorded over 29,000 slip and fall injuries. These injuries may cause broken bones, muscle strains, or other serious injuries. It is important to address accident-prone surfaces or areas to curb the number of chances it can happen.
2. Muscle Strain
Employees who regularly do heavy-lifting at work or do repetitive physical activities are likely to experience strained muscles. This may affect their back, neck, and other areas just by using tools on a construction site, loading heavy objects, typing, standing on an assembly line, walking up and down large warehouses, etc.
Businesses can help their employees by training them physically, using safety harnesses, giving them adequate breaks, and investing in ergonomic chairs.
3. Workplace Burns
Burn injuries in one of the foremost common unintentional injuries in the United States. Furthermore, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that up to 45% of burn injuries happen in the workplace. These burn injury statistics, then specify that employees who work in the kitchen and those working with chemicals are at risk of sustaining burn injuries.
Fires are not the only thing that causes burns, it can also come from chemicals, electrical, and thermal sources. A major cause of burn fatalities is explosions and burns.
In 2018, worker deaths caused by transportation incidents reached 2,050 along with over 50,000 non-fatal injuries. These incidents are not limited to land vehicles, they can also be attributed to aircraft, railways, bicycles, and watercraft. Worker compensation can be delicate, as the incident must have the employee to be within the scope of their work and not doing personal errands.
Injuries can also come in warehouses or docks where employees are in an accident involving forklifts or other machines.
5. Falling Objects
Aside from the employee falling from a height, objects falling on them can also cause grave harm. People usually imagine tools or debris falling from an unfinished structure or boxes falling from a stack in a warehouse.
But these incidents also happen in kitchens, retail, or in shops where items placed on high shelves or cupboards are being taken without the proper equipment such as a ladder.
6. Exposure to Loud Noises
Deafness due to work has not been eliminated. There are still cases where industrial deafness is being suffered by employees especially after prolonged exposure. Companies are now employing safety measures and requiring their workers to wear protective equipment to prevent these injuries from happening.
7. Exposure to Harmful Substances
Jobs that handle harmful chemicals are at risk of inhaling those compounds along with skin or eye irritation when they come in contact with it. The injuries don’t necessarily show up in a single instance, but it manifests itself after prolonged exposure without protection.
In these types of work-environment, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is an indispensable requirement for them to do their job.
8. Cuts and Lacerations
Various things can cause a cut or a laceration. People working in the kitchen or construction sites are often at risk of getting cut by the tools they’re working with. Also, people in lumber mills or wood clearing jobs are often getting cuts with handling sharp bits of wood.
These can be minimized by giving their employees the right tools and training. Business owners and their managers should give their workers proper training to avoid injuries while doing their tasks as well as giving them the necessary protection and the right tools for the job.
Employees who had an accident should seek medical attention immediately. The incident must also be reported to the proper channels as soon as possible. Information about the incident like time, place, witnesses, and others must be collected.
Employees are entitled to compensation under the Workers’ Compensation Act, but they must apply for the claim to initiate the review. It is important to take these actions to help the injured employee in their recovery and prevent further occurrences.