By Allen Brown
Despite being very attentive and conscientious about observing health and safety rules at work, the occurrence of workplace injury is ever-present. These injuries don’t only put employees at risk, it also impacts insurance rates, reduces productivity, increases workers compensation claims and alters company morale.
Team awareness at various levels is critical in maintaining a safe environment and reducing the cause of workplace accidents. The common workplace injuries range from fatigue to wrecks and overexertion, and most of them can be prevented with proper training and awareness.
Physical and Mental Fatigue
If a person is being pushed, or pushes oneself beyond reasonable limits to remain on a workload, this can result in physical and mental exhaustion. An overly exhausted person is likely to end up with impaired judgment, slower operation of machinery or motor vehicles, delayed feedback to an emergency, and lack of attention to details and instructions.
Job security, health issues, finances, and anxiety towards personal relationships are all related to stress. When the mind of an employee is too distracted by real or sensed threats, they are not only likely to make mistakes that may lead to injury but also attract an increased chance of heart attack, hypertension, or stroke.
If tall furniture such as bookcases and filing components are not properly anchored, a slight shake could cause them to pitch forward and dislodge what they contain, thereby putting the workers nearby at peril. Workplace injuries can also be caused by heavy objects like supplies and file boxes stacked on high shelves, that shift to the edge each time they are put back, or the structure gets bumped accidentally.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Office kitchens and break rooms are the most common places where slips take place due to the frequent splash of liquid there, and most times may not be cleaned up. Hardwood and tile surfaces are significantly hazardous after having been mopped or waxed. Another point to be considered is the footwear worn by employees, as many soles are smooth and do not have adequate grip.
Objects left laying around in high traffic walkways, extension cords that are not being properly tapped down, and loose carpets are all contributors to trips and, many times, may cause more than just stubbed toes. If you get any of these injuries while on the job, the attorneys from www.injury-attorneys.com emphasize you must contact a slip and fall/injury lawyer for immediate action. Poorly lit stairs and hallways are danger zones because it is hard to tell what is underfoot. Falls, trips, and slips killed over 800 workers in 2016, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Hazardous Material Accidents
Eye wear, gloves, and protective clothing should be mandatory for employees whose jobs are required to be around hazardous materials, chemicals, and toxic waste. Failure to stick with these rules can lead to injurious exposure from explosions or spills such as burns, blindness, respiratory diseases, and skin infection.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is known as a common occurrence for employees engaged in repetitive motion activities that pressurize the median nerve, causing pain and numbness in the fingers, wrist, and hand. Typists, key operators, and beauty salon workers are particularly at risk for developing this condition.
Overexertion When Lifting
Most muscle pulls, and back injuries that take place at work are a result of carrying an object that is too heavy, not bending legs properly, not asking for an assist from a colleague, or trying to lift or hold heavy objects above the shoulders.
Despite increased measures limiting office access to individuals who have a legitimate reason to be on the premises, innocent victims are often unintentionally involved whenever strange spouses, disgruntled past employees, or even total strangers show up to cause harm. Administrators and employees must likewise remain sensitive to suspicious and questionable mail or packages, phone threats, and evidence of any security breach.
In some fields like mail and package delivery, animal bites and related injuries occur normally. In 2016, injuries caused by people or animals were the second most relevant workplace accident.
Clashes With Coworkers and Objects
Opening a closed-door too quickly or making a sharp bend too fast are frequent setups for unintentional clashes with coworkers. While it may not be with so much force to knock one or another unconscious, the chance for injury is high if there are hot liquids, sharp or heavy objects involved. Leaving the file drawers pulled out is also dangerous, especially if a colleague is not able to sight it until the point of the clash.
Transportation accidents were known to be the leading cause of fatal workplace injuries. A transportation accident can be a wreck in a faulty vehicle, being hit by a work vehicle, or an accident that involves backing up or over something or someone. Flight, train, or boating accidents are also being included in these measurements.
If an accident should happen at work, there is a chance for serious harm to occur. Personal safety devices should be given to employees to ensure their whereabouts and easily be tracked and help sent to them if anything should happen. Many of these alarm features include a man-down alarm, which easily detects when a worker is in danger.
To minimize the risk of injury at the workplace, employers should execute a risk assessment test, mitigate risks whenever they can, and provide employees with the right tools and equipment. With these intact, the injuries caused by accidents at the workplace can be significantly minimized.