Did you know that U.S. companies pay $62 billion per year for workplace injuries? The risk of accidents happening at work is high, and workplace injuries are frequent.
But what are the most common work injuries, and how do you avoid them?
Both employers and employees should know how to mitigate the risk of the most common workplace injuries. This way, they can protect themselves against financial loss and trauma.
Keep reading for seven of the most common workplace injuries a
1. Slips, Trips, and Falls
This is the most common of workplace injuries across every industry. The risk of slipping, tripping, and falling is present in every type of workplace. A puddle on the floor, a stray piece of equipment, or uneven flooring can send an employee tumbling.
Not only is this one of the most common injuries, but it can also have severe consequences. These injuries are in the top three work-related injuries that have caused employees to miss work.
So, not only should employers be concerned about liability, but employees need to be concerned about lost wages.
To prevent these types of injuries, there needs to be a focus on good housekeeping to ensure the workplace is clean and free from messy hazards. Caution signs should be used on wet floors, and there needs to be adequate lighting, and employers must repair walking surfaces.
2. Struck by Moving Objects
This type of injury happens in environments where employees are working with heavy machinery. For example, factories, farms, and construction sites. These are the riskiest workplaces when it comes to employees getting struck by moving objects.
When employees are not wearing protective safeguards and get struck by moving parts, or a limb gets stuck in a machine, the results are severe. It may result in traumatic brain injuries, extended periods off work, and serious injuries. Workers’ compensation is more important than ever in these cases.
Workplaces can prevent these injuries by making use of warning signs and ensuring employees wear the correct protective gear. They should safeguard machine functions, and ensure operator training.
3. Vehicle-Related Accidents
Any company that makes use of vehicles runs the risk of vehicle-related accidents and injuries. There are very few businesses that don’t make use of vehicles. Many factors contribute to the likelihood of car accidents. These include weather, negligent driving, and equipment issues.
So, how do you ensure employee safety when it comes to motor vehicle accidents? Firstly, there should be a monitoring system in place for employers to track drivers. This way they can ensure they are not driving with negligence.
Secondly, drivers should all undergo defensive driving training. This will reduce the likelihood of accidents and collisions.
4. Overexertion Injuries
These injuries are some of the most costly workplace injuries and employers should ensure workers’ comp for chronic pain and long-term issues caused by overexertion.
Back pain is the most common musculoskeletal disorder caused by overexertion and cost employers billions of dollars every year.
These types of injuries are a result of employees straining excessively when working on something. This results in sprains, torn ligaments, joint issues, and more.
It’s important that employees and employers take special measures to prevent these cumulative injuries. This is done by providing employees with training and allowing breaks to rest during the day.
5. Repetitive Motion Injuries
The name of these injuries is self-explanatory. They occur due to constantly repeating the same motion. This leads to cumulative trauma such as carpal tunnel syndrome or nerve damage.
This sort of injury is prevalent across many industries, from factories to offices. It’s a difficult injury to avoid as many jobs require repetitive motion, such as typing at a computer or factory line work.
The best way for workplaces to mitigate against repetitive motion injuries is to provide their staff with ergonomic equipment and encourage regular breaks.
6. Workplace Violence-Related Injuries
It is an unfortunate truth that workplace violence is on the rise and a sad cause of many injuries that occur while on the job. This includes physical altercations between coworkers, employees and customers, and even employees and employers. It also includes self-harm and suicide at the workplace.
These types of injuries are not typically covered by workers’ compensation insurance as it was not within the course or scope of their employment that employees were hurt.
This is one of the highest causes of workplace fatalities, so preventing these injuries is vital. Employees should receive education about how to recognize warning signs of violence in coworkers. Additionally, employers should offer subsidized counseling for at-risk staff members.
7. Injuries from Exposure to Harmful Substances and Environments
These injuries are a result of inhaling harmful chemicals, such as cleaning products but also extend to include a range of other environmental factors.
Electrocution as a result of exposure to electricity also falls in this category. It includes injuries as a result of working in environments with extreme temperature and loud noises, as well as exposure to radiation, changes in air and water pressure, and more.
Due to the massive range of injuries in this category, it’s difficult to present one simple solution. Employees should always have the correct personal protective equipment and gear. Workplaces must have proper ventilation and store chemicals correctly.
Protecting Yourself and Your Employees Against Work Injuries
These are just some of many work injuries that can have disastrous consequences for employers and employees. Employers are liable for all of these injuries other than specific instances of workplace violence. How will you ensure that you and your employees are protected?
Protecting yourself and your employees goes beyond ensuring a safe working environment. At the end of the day, you simply cannot eliminate all risks. That’s why workers’ compensation insurance is so important. If you’re not covered, request a free quote today and make the smart choice.