There’s no question that some jobs are more dangerous than others, but occupations that appear perfectly safe often have a higher percentage of injured employees. The top five workplace injuries can occur in almost any occupation, from factory jobs to desk jobs. Contact a Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today.
Overexertion, the number one cause of work-related injuries, is typically the result of ordinary tasks gone wrong. Lifting, pulling, or pushing an object improperly can throw a worker’s body seriously out of whack, even leading to permanent disability. The best way to avoid overexertion injuries is by approaching the aforementioned movements carefully, and by learning the right way to perform these tasks. For example, always lift heavy objects by keeping a wide base of support and squatting down, bending only at the knees and hips. Don’t twist your back as you lift the object. More importantly, keep yourself fit and don’t take on tasks that you are physically unable to do.
Same Level Falls
Same level falls are the second most common workplace injury. These include trip and slip injuries, and can happen anywhere. The condition of the floor is the most important factor to consider, therefore, it’s exceedingly important to report unsafe conditions in the workplace. Same level falls may result from:
- Loose carpeting
- Uneven flooring
- Wet or waxed floors
- Cords and cables on the floor
- Floor transition areas
- Clutter or debris in walkways
- Poor lighting
Employees can lower their risk of same level falls by wearing appropriate footwear and keeping shoelaces tied. Business owners should ensure that flooring is safe, and that traffic patterns in the workplace are free of clutter.
Struck by an Object
Getting hit or struck by something is the third most common workplace injury. If you work in construction or another industry with falling debris, such as factory work, it’s crucial to wear a hard hat at all times. Correct storage of items on shelves, proper material stacking, and keeping the workplace free of clutter can reduce the likelihood of falling objects.
Falls to Lower Level
For most workers, falls to a lower level generally involve falling down stairwells or off ladders. For construction jobs and similar occupations, high-level falls can involve falling off scaffolding. Many of these falls result in serious injury or death.
To mitigate the risk of falling from high places, stairwells should have good lighting and handrails should be installed. The stairs themselves should have non-slippery surfaces. Obviously, objects should not be stored on the stairs, and workers should take special precautions when carrying items up and down stairs. Check ladders for safety and stability before use. Workers using scaffolding should always wear personal fall arrest protection. Proper, industry specific training is also essential to the safety of workers in any given field.
Other Exertion and Bodily Reaction
Similar to overexertion, other exertion and bodily reaction injuries usually occur in non-impact accidents. Basically, this means that the worker was not harmed by direct contact with another object. Instead, the injury results from the way a person’s body reacts to a particular stimulus. Situations that can cause “other exertion and bodily reaction” injuries include:
- Repetitive motions
- Excessive physical effort
- Remaining in one position for a long period of time
- Unnatural body position.
Your risk of these injuries depends on the nature of your work and your willingness to utilize appropriate safety precautions. Many jobs require repetitive motions, for example, but by taking advantage of work breaks and learning exercises to combat the effect of repetitive motions on your body, you can reduce your risk. Sitting at a computer all day can result in negative bodily reactions as well, so get up at least every hour and take a brief walk around the office. Stretching and moving around as much as possible is helpful in any occupation. It keeps the body warm and flexible, which helps to eliminate many types of injuries. Continue reading