According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about three million workplace injuries occur annually. Not all of these injuries are serious, but more than one-third are serious enough to result in time away from work. The BLS publishes an annual Workplace Safety Index, highlighting the most common on-the-job injuries in that specific year. Contact a Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today.
The Most Common Massachusetts Work-Related Injuries and How to Prevent Them
- Falls from high places: Although these accidents are most common in construction-related jobs, they can occur anywhere. Improperly maintained or faulty scaffolding and ladders are common causes of serious falls. Unfortunately, falls from high places are also one of the most dangerous types of workplace accidents, often resulting in head trauma, spinal cord injuries, and serious fractures. To prevent falls, always use safety harnesses when necessary, ensure that stairwells have adequate lighting, and make sure that equipment is regularly inspected and maintained.
- Overexertion: This is one of the most common workplace injuries and it often affects the lower back. Overexertion can be caused by using excessive effort when lifting, pulling, pushing, or carrying objects. To avoid straining your lower back, or any other part of your body, always utilize proper lifting techniques, ask for help from other employees if an object is too heavy, and stop immediately if you feel any soreness or pain.
- Slip and fall accidents: Although falls from high places result in more serious injuries and deaths, slipping, tripping, and falling on a level surface can still be extremely dangerous. People are seriously injured and die in slip and fall accidents every year. Even minor falls can result in torn ligaments and sprains. More serious falls can cause head trauma and fractures. Prevent slip and fall injuries by ensuring that walkways are well lit and clear of clutter and debris.
- Being struck by an object: When improperly shelved materials, such as heavy boxes, equipment, or construction materials, fall from scaffolding or shelves above, they can cause serious injury and death. Prevent bruises, lacerations, and brain injuries by always making sure shelved items are properly secured. The use of hard hats in construction areas can also dramatically reduce the risk of serious head injuries.
- Repetitive motions: Although injuries from repetitive motions may not be as dangerous as, for example, falls from high places, they can still be incredibly debilitating. When workers consistently perform the same task, such as data entry or stuffing envelopes, they may experience torn ligaments, sprains, and other conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome. These conditions may prevent a worker from returning to work for an extended period of time. Avoid repetitive motion injuries by taking frequent breaks, using ergonomic equipment at your desk, and maintaining proper posture.