Workplace injuries are more common than many of us would like to think. They’re especially common in dangerous work environments, such as construction sites or manufacturing warehouses.
Being aware of the most common causes of injuries within the workplace can help you to stay safer during your working hours. You can remain vigilant to spot potential hazards and remove them before they cause an accident.
It’s also important that you follow all of the health and safety protocols that your employers have put into place. Many of these rules and regulations are mandatory by law to keep you and your colleagues safe.
To help you become more aware of the potential dangers in your workplace and avoid causing harm to yourself or others, here are the most common causes of work injuries.
One of the most common but more forgotten, causes of injury in the workplace is overexertion. If your job requires you to lift large or heavy items, you are at an increased risk of injuring yourself.
Non-impact injuries result from excessive physical exertion, usually caused by lifting, pulling, pushing, or turning. These injuries can occur acutely or build up over time after years of poor movement patterns.
It’s easy to overestimate your own strength. You might attempt to lift a box that is too heavy for you, leading to a back injury or muscle strain.
Overexertion also encompasses repetitive strain injuries. Tasks that involve a repetitive motion can cause strain on the associated joints or muscles, even without high-intensity physical exertion.
Examples of activities that often cause repetitive strain injuries include writing, typing, or using a computer mouse. They can also be caused by regular sports playing, such as during tennis or baseball where there is the repetitive swinging of the arms.
Slips and Falls
The most commonly occurring non-fatal injuries in the workplace are caused by trips and falls. If the floor has just been cleaned or there has been a spillage, it’s easy to slip up. Although many slips only result in some minor embarrassment and nothing more, some slips can result in sprains, fractures, or breaks.
Employees can fall from height if their work involves climbing ladders, roofs, or scaffolding. To prevent these events, it’s important that all equipment is regularly checked. The necessary repair work should be completed before any employees use the equipment.
All employees should attend mandatory health and safety training so they know how to correctly climb ladder and scaffolding to reduce the risk of accidents.
Slips and falls are often preventable. With proper signage for wet floor, maintenance of equipment, and general competency when it comes to health and safety, most of these accidents can be avoided.
There is always a risk of employees bumping into equipment or accidentally being pushed onto a potentially dangerous object. If a large piece of equipment falls, there is a risk of a worker being stuck underneath or crushed.
Those who work in areas that use moving equipment are at risk of being struck by moving arms or structures. Similarly, workers may be pinched, squeeze, or compressed by the various pieces of equipment, leading to serious injuries.