common workplace injuries

clock April 23, 2021

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7 Common Workplace Injuries and How to Prevent Them

You can’t effectively prevent common workplace injuries without knowing what they are. However, many leaders attempt to do just that. This leads to ineffective policies and recurring injuries. 

Start by taking the time to understand what leads to the common injuries as well as which injuries you see the most in your industry. Once you’ve done that, you can create a safe work environment.

In this article, we discuss common workplace injuries. This includes everything from not using equipment safely to slips and falls. Continue reading to see how you can prevent injury at your business.

1. Cuts and Lacerations 

Cuts and lacerations are some of the most common types of workplace injuries. They can vary in severity from minor papercuts to serious wounds. 

These types of injuries happen for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons relate to improper training, poor equipment handling, lack of proper protective equipment, and more. These causes can occur from neglect from the employee, others around them, or even the company.

To prevent cuts and lacerations from happening, it’s essential to have the right equipment and training protocols. Make sure your team has access to the safety materials they need.

2. Slips and Falls

Injuries resulting from workplace slips and falls are among the most common workplace injuries. They’re also the top cause of claims for workers’ compensation

They are caused by wet or oily floors, improper weatherization, and even poor lighting. The types of resulting injuries range from slight sprains and pulled muscles to broken bones and serious back injuries. 

Preventing workplace injuries is always easier than dealing with an injured employee and a workers comp lawyer. The good news is that slips and falls are possible to prevent.

Start by ensuring good housekeeping staff and protocols. This means placing proper signage on wet floors and making sure clutter isn’t left lying around. Ask your employees to report areas with spills or obstructions.

Next, make sure your flooring is in good condition. Make sure there are no uneven surfaces, slippery floors, or rotting flooring material. Depending on your industry, it’s also worth making sure staff have appropriate footwear.

3. Equipment Misuse or Malfunction

Whether you work in healthcare or the farming industry, equipment misuse and malfunction are common sources of workplace injuries. These injuries include everything from an infected wound from an uncapped needle to a severed limb from an auger accident. 

This can also be from the misuse of safety equipment. Employees can suffer damaged hearing from missing ear protection. Others may face exposure to bright lights from not wearing safety goggles.

Making sure your employees are using equipment safely and correctly is one of the best ways to prevent these common workplace injuries. Review your training process and materials to make sure they’re adequate. It may even be time for an all-staff refresher course in safety.

4. Vehicle Accidents

Vehicle accidents involve more than just two cars colliding. It also refers to those hit by or falling out of a moving car. The severity of these injuries ranges from minor bumps and bruises to loss of life.

Preventing these accidents and ensuring a safe work environment start by deciding what type of prevention is needed. Once you determine this, you can start deciding how to ensure safety.

For example, if your company requires your employees to drive, make sure their vehicles are taken care of and insured. If your building is located along a busy street, consider providing an alternative entrance or parking area to avoid possible accidents. 

5. Fire or Explosions

Injuries from explosions vary in severity based on the level of the blast. Explosions are ranked from primary to quaternary. A primary blast puts pressure on the body while a quaternary blast results in crush injuries and burns.

To prevent common workplace injuries involving explosions, we recommend reviewing OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standards. This helps to ensure effective communication and chemical safety.

6. Overexertion or Reinjury

Overexertion or reinjury of an old condition results when your employee takes on too much too soon. They likely haven’t allowed themselves enough time to heal.

The best way to promote a safe work environment is to communicate with the employee. Avoid rushing them to return to work and allow time to rest. 

It’s also a good idea to promote activity in the office. For example, provide time for employees to stand and stretch for a few minutes. This can help not only prevent overexertion, but also reinjury from past medical issues.

7. Workplace Violence

Workplace violence is unfortunately more common than you might think. It’s an important issue that deserves attention. It’s also a delicate situation that needs to be handled professionally.

Workplace violence may go unnoticed, so it’s important to check in with your staff regarding any signs of aggression. This is part of maintaining a safe work environment.

Another part is policies for effective communication if employees feel unsafe or frustrated toward their coworkers. This should allow them positive ways to deal with frustration instead of resorting to violence.

Prevent Common Workplace Injuries

If you want to prevent common workplace injuries you need to understand what leads to them. Think about your line of work. What are the most common injuries?

Answering this question will tell start you on the path to make adjustments to avoid these injuries. It will also help keep you from dealing with a worker’s comp lawyer.

For more articles dealing with worker’s compensation, visit our blog

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