Common Workplace Injuries and How to Deal with them

It is impossible to overstate the importance of workplace safety. OSHA estimates that workplace injuries cost employers approximately $1 billion a week in workers’ compensation related costs, and the best way to cut down on the huge cost of workplace injuries is by placing a strong focus on employee health and safety. Nonetheless, injuries are bound to occur no matter how diligent a company and its employees are about workplace safety. For this reason, we’ll now take a look at some of the most common workplace injuries and how to deal with them.

Muscle Strains and Overexertion Injuries
Overexertion injuries such as strains are one of the most common types of workplace injuries. In particular, neck and back strains are incredibly common—especially among people who regularly lift heavy objects—and the vast majority of these injuries are caused by using improper lifting techniques. The good news is that these strains and other overexertion injuries are also one of the easiest types of injuries to avoid.

Making sure that employees always use the proper safety equipment is obviously key to avoiding many different injuries, but it is also important that employers take the time to teach their employees the proper techniques to help them avoid these injuries. In this sense, education and training can be key to lowering the risk of these all-too-common workplace injuries, and should any employees suffer a strain or overexertion, it is essential that they are allowed time off to rest and recover from their injury in order to avoid potentially worsening the condition.

Slip-and-Fall Injuries
Slips, trips and falls are another one of the most common causes of workplace injuries, and statistics show that falls are the most common cause of workplace fatalities. Slipping on wet surfaces or tripping over items lying on the floor often lead to workplace injuries, and falling from heights is also far too common. Wearing fall-protection equipment is obviously the biggest keys to preventing injuries and potential fatalities from falls from heights. At the same time, employers and employees need to be diligent about preventing or mitigating against any other hazards that could cause slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall injuries. Using safety signs to warn employees of potential hazards is an excellent place to start, but employers also need to create a culture of workplace safety to ensure employees understand the risks and work to prevent them.

Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome and vision problems are also incredibly common. These injuries are obviously caused by repetitive or forceful activity, and poor posture can also be a contributing factor in many cases. For instance, wearing the wrong type of footwear or standing improperly are some of the common causes of foot pain and injuries.

Luckily, most of these repetitive motion injuries are usually fairly easy to prevent, and there is now a wide range of ergonomically designed chairs, keyboards, computer mice and other products that are designed to lower the risk of these repetitive injuries. Using this ergonomic equipment and training employees in the proper techniques is an easy way to help lower the risk of repetitive injuries and thus cut down on the extensive costs that come along with them.

Collisions and Crashes
Vehicle collisions, crashes and accidents are another primary cause of workplace injuries. Although these injuries often involve cars, trucks and semis, they can also be caused by smaller vehicles and equipment such as forklifts. In some cases, the accidents can potentially be fatal or leave the employee permanently disabled. For this reason, it is highly recommended that companies provide their employees with safe-driver training to lower the risk of an accident. In addition, developing a comprehensive safe-driver policy and punishing employees who violate this policy can also help to reduce the risk of accidents and should ensure that employees take safe driving more seriously.

At the end of the day, there is nothing that either employers or employees can do to fully eliminate the risk of workplace injuries. No matter how diligent you are, there is always the chance that accidents and injuries will occur. That being said, it is still essential that you do everything you can to lower the risk of injury. Creating comprehensive safety policies and providing employees with proper safety training and education can provide numerous benefits for a company and its employees by helping to lower the costs related to workplace injuries and ensuring that employees stay safe and healthy.