Workplace safety is on the minds of employees and their employers alike. Yet, it seems that as careful as most people are, accidents still happen on the job. The results can be injuries that require treatment from workers’ compensation doctors, lost hours and wages during treatment, less productivity, and even a dip in morale as coworkers feel concerned about their safety.
The best way to avoid these consequences is to create a company culture of safety, but it also helps to know the most common injuries and how to avoid them. Here are the top five workplace accidents that can lead to work-related injuries.
Overexertion and Repetitive Stress Injuries
This one may come as a surprise to you, as overexertion seems like an easy one to prevent. Unfortunately, repetitive stress injuries can occur in almost any setting, from a desk job requiring constant computer use to one in an industrial environment with heavy lifting. These injuries can happen without warning or build slowly; either way, they may result in surgery, physical therapy, and time off to heal and recover.
Prevention is all about ergonomics, which focuses on improving efficiency and safety in a work environment. For example, having desks and chairs that encourage better posture can help reduce neck strain or wrist pain. Training employees on safe lifting positions and encouraging breaks for enough time to rest may protect backs and knees when moving heavy objects. These small changes can make a big difference in reducing injuries on the job.
Falls, Slips, and Trips
Sometimes falls are unavoidable, but the rest of the time, they may be easily stopped.
These injuries account for about a third of all workers’ compensation claims, and any of the following issues can cause them:
- Spills or leaks
- Oily or wet surfaces
- Clutter or crowded walkways
- Poor lighting
- Uneven flooring or loose rugs
- Loss of balance when working on ladders or scaffolding
- Improper footwear
By emphasizing safety procedures in addition to the importance of teamwork and responsibility, you may be able to decrease falls in the workplace. Some incidents can be reduced with prompt cleaning-up and signage. Schedule regular training for all staff and recognize those who exemplify those characteristics of prudent habits. Positive reinforcement can go a long way towards improving worker morale and participation.
Industrial or manufacturing facilities, agricultural settings, and construction zones using heavy equipment pose risks for many workers, and these types of injuries can be life-changing or even fatal. Safety first is not just a slogan; it should be a mantra at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Preventing these potentially catastrophic injuries takes teamwork and extensive training. Each worker should be aware of their coworkers’ activities and movements in a sort of choreographed set of actions to keep each other out of harm’s way. Protective clothing may also be part of the equation, and first aid protocols should be reviewed often to provide immediate assistance in an emergency.
Fires, Explosions, or Chemical Reactions
These injuries may not be as common as the other three, but they are no less devastating or preventable. Whether your workplace is a traditional office or an industrial setting, your staff may be vulnerable to injuries due to these situations. Training for how to handle these disasters should include frequent drills to practice safety plans as well as methods of proper storage and handling of hazardous materials.
Any time you have an employee operating or riding in a vehicle, the potential exists for an injury. These types of accidents can be on the road or at a worksite. They may involve any form of transportation, including cars, trucks, heavy machinery, boats, helicopters, and even golf carts. No one should operate any vehicle without training, licensing, or other certification. Also, records concerning the movement, maintenance, and service of any work vehicle should be rigorously recorded and reviewed.
Any time a work-related injury happens, it is imperative that the employee receive treatment from a worker’s compensation physician. Encourage your team to connect with Medical Clinics of NYC. Our worker’s compensation doctors in Brooklyn and the other boroughs can make it easy to follow through with treatment and therapy to get you back on your feet. Contact us to learn more about our services.