One of your employees is walking across the factory floor when they trip over a box. They’re fine other than a little scrapped knee. Not every worker is that fortunate.
The Common Workplace Injuries: A Detailed Guide
Every day, countless employees get hurt on the job. As their boss, it’s up to you to keep your workers safe. The only way you can do that is to become familiar with all the common workplace injuries.
Once you know about them, you can start making changes in your workplace to avoid them. Check out this safety guide to learn the top things that you should be looking out for.
It may come as a surprise that the first thing on this list isn’t something extreme like explosions or lacerations. No, one of the most common work injuries has to do with overexertion because nobody is safe from it. Let us explain.
Overexertion has less to do with being overworked and more to do with repetitive movements. Doing the same motion over and over again puts a serious strain on the muscles.
It doesn’t matter if you’re using tools, loading-trucks, typing away at a computer, or standing at an assembly line, you can hurt yourself.
The good news is that it’s easy to avoid this problem. Encourage employees who spend most of their day working on the same task to take a break. Teach them how to lift with their knees and consider providing lift aids to take some of the pressure off of them.
Invest in ergonomic furniture and change up your employee’s tasks every once in a while if you have the means to do so.
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Slips and Falls
When people think of someone being injured at work due to a fall, their minds go immediately to liquid spills. While that’s a huge cause of the problem, it’s not the only one.
Uneven surfaces such as rugs, icy walkways, and tripping hazards left in the walkway are as much to blame, if not more so. Every single employee who works for you should be trained in how to clean up a spill.
If there is a spill on the floor, cleaning it up should be a priority. Have wet floor signs on hand that employees can put up while they’re wiping up the liquid.
If the floors are naturally slippery where you work, make it a requirement for your employees to wear non-slip shoes. Install handrails in areas that see a lot of foot traffic. This way, if someone falls on the steps, they have something to grab on to.
Workplace safety guidelines state that you should keep your floors free from obstructions. If any loose cords are laying around, secure them with tape.
Failure to Properly Wear Protective Equipment
Anyone who is working with heavy machinery needs to wear protective equipment over their eyes. It will keep them safe from small levels of radiation and flying projectiles.
If you work with any dangerous chemicals, employees should wear some kind of respirator. You’d be surprised at the number of employers who don’t provide these basic items to their workers or choose the wrong ones.
Eye protection should fit securely to the worker’s face. If the employee wears corrective lenses, their eyewear needs to fit over their glasses.
All respirators and other forms of safety gear have to be checked regularly to make sure they’re still working. If they’re not, there’s not really a point in the employees using them.
If your business centers around farming or construction, moving machinery always poses a huge risk. Devices that aren’t guarded can result in lacerations, burns, and amputations.
If something gets caught in the machine, there’s a good chance that the object will fly back at the worker. If they aren’t wearing the appropriate protective gear, it could take their eye out.
If someone is wearing baggy clothing, it could get snagged on the machine and pull the worker in. The same goes for if they have long hair that’s not put up. You need to make sure that you train all employees on correct machine usage.
Being Hit by Objects
You have an employee working on a ladder. As they do their job, they drop their tool, right onto the head of another employee. Getting hit by something from that height can lead to concussions and other injuries.
This is the most common example of coming into contact with objects, but it’s not the only one. Oftentimes, nurses will get stuck with a needle, or a piece of a wall will fall and hit a poor unsuspecting construction worker.
The best way to avoid such scenarios is proper training. Teach employees how to use their tools and discipline those who make careless mistakes. Check equipment throughout the day to make sure it’s good and secure.
Vehicle accidents don’t only include crashes that happen on the road. Many workers get hit by forklifts while they are out on a factory floor.
You can stop this from happening by training employees and putting up speed limit signs around your workplace. As far as crashes on the road go, encourage your workers to wear their seat belts and put policies in place regarding restrictions on drugs and alcohol.
Common Workplace Injuries That Many Employees are Exposed to
Every day employees experience common workplace injuries. Even relaxing jobs such as typing away at a computer can pose a problem.
Keep your workers safe by putting prevention measures in place. Encourage everyone to take breaks and train them on proper protocols.
If you’re looking for more ways to keep your business OSHA compliant, we can help. Check out our blog for all the latest company tips and tricks.
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