According to the National Safety Council, a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds. That adds up to…
In total, there were 104,000,000 production days lost due to work-related injuries in the year 2017 alone. Yes, we got the number of zeros right—over 104 million days lost! Workplace accidents are a major hindrance to worker productivity. More importantly, they are an even bigger danger to worker health and overall well-being.
While these numbers are shocking, it is important to remember that workplace accidents are preventable. This makes each occurrence of workplace injury that much more tragic. With all this in mind, it is absolutely imperative for workers and bosses alike to take preventative action in order to spare workers any unnecessary pain and suffering.
Generally speaking, workers are kept away from work by relatively minor injuries. However, these minor injuries can easily magnify in severity. For this reason, it is important to prevent and treat these conditions as immediately as possible.
Simple sprains, strains, and/or tears are among the leading types of workplace injury. Worker’s compensation data also shows that strains are the number one accident category when it comes to claim frequency and severity. Sprains and strains may have a sudden onset, or they may develop over the course of a few months.
Certain workplace risk factors may increase the likelihood of workers developing sprains and strains. These workplace risk factors include awkward posture, excessive force, excessive repetition, and other environmental factors. Implementing engineering controls may help workers eliminate or reduce any awkward posture that could lead to sprains and strains. Workers should be able to maintain optimal joint positions. Employers should also ensure that there are administrative controls in place, such as job rotation and counteractive stretch breaks.
Soreness and/or pain is another leading type of workplace injury. While the types of soreness and pain may vary job by job, back pain is among the most common. Jobs that stress exerting force on the back and repeating certain movements may put workers at risk for soreness and pain. Inactive jobs may also increase the risk of soreness and pain as well.
In order to prevent soreness and pain, workers will want to be vigilant in maintaining good posture and lifting properly. Take care to balance your weight evenly on your feet, lift with your legs, and maintain the natural curve of your back. You may also want to modify repetitive tasks by using lifting devices, if available, or by simply positioning your monitor properly. Change your body position often so as to relieve tension.
Finally, cuts, lacerations, or punctures are also among the most common types of workplace injuries. These sorts of injuries are often results of rushing, taking shortcuts, improper training, lack of established safety procedures, failure to wear proper hand protection, or improperly adjusted guarding equipment.
Employers should make sure to establish clear work procedures and control any hazards, while employees should take care to wear all proper personal protective equipment (such as gloves and long-sleeved shirts), using proper tools, keeping their work area clear, replacing dull blades as necessary, and never leaving an exposed blade unattended.
When it comes to more significant workplace injury events, there are three main culprits: overexertion; contact with objects and equipment; and slips, trips, and falls. These workplace injury events do not just take the employee away from work, but they actually result in lost work days entirely.
Overexertion accounts for 33.54% of all workplace injuries resulting in lost work days. It is caused by repetitive motions of either lifting or lowering. In order to prevent overexertion, the National Safety Council suggests taking frequent short breaks as often as necessary. This gives your muscles a chance to recover from constant stress. You will also want to take care to avoid any unnecessary bending, reaching, and twisting when you lift.
Contact with objects and equipment accounts for 26% of all workplace injuries resulting in lost work days. There are many different ways that contact with objects and equipment can lead to injury. Here are three of the most common ways:
In order to prevent any of these incidents from occurring, make sure you store any and all heavy objects close to the floor. However, if this is not possible, you will want to remain vigilant and aware of any moving equipment and/or objects in your general work area. And, as always, never be caught without wearing your proper personal protective equipment.
Slips, trips, and falls account for 25.8% of all workplace injuries resulting in lost workdays. Slips, trips, and falls can occur both to a lower level and on the same level. In order to prevent such accidents, you will want to maintain good housekeeping practices. This involves placing the bases of all ladders on a solid, even surface.
Certain fields of work put employees at more risk for workplace injuries than others. Although workplace accidents can happen anywhere, many of the more severe accidents result in lost work days. This is costly on a number of levels—it is costly for the employer, it is costly for the employee, and it is costly for the company.
Regardless of your occupation, if you have recently been involved in a workplace accident, we at Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to help victims all across the country. We believe that all employees should have the right to a safe and hazard-free workplace. Employers have a responsibility to spare workers of any unnecessary pain and suffering. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced nationwide workplace injury attorneys.