On the job injuries are surprisingly common, although the majority are not severe. How likely you are to experience a specific injury, or to be injured at all, depends on numerous factors including your job duties and the precautions your employer takes. In general, however, theNational Safety Council states that, as of 2013, these are the most common work related injuries across all types of jobs.
1. Overexertion Injuries
These include all injuries that are caused by lifting, carrying, throwing, holding, pushing, pulling, or otherwise manipulating people or items. The human body is powerful yet delicate, and it is easy to throw the body out of alignment. Utilizing proper techniques and taking plenty of rest breaks can minimize, though not eliminate, the risk for these types of injuries.
2. Slip and Falls
This category includes all injuries that result from slipping or tripping on a level surface. Wet floors, debris, cords stretched across floors, and other hazards can greatly increase the risk for these types of falls. Non-slip flooring, prompt management of spills, signage, and other techniques can help reduce the risk for slip and fall accidents.
3. Falls from Heights
If your job requires you to work on a ladder, rooftop, or other high surface, you are at a .greater risk for a fall than someone who works at a desk. However, falls from heights can also occur on stairways and other commonly used areas. Personal protective gear, solid railings, and such environmental factors as proper lighting are important in reducing these risks.
4. Reaction Related Injuries
These injuries occur in situations that would otherwise result in a slip and fall. If your brain senses that you are about to fall, your body will automatically react to try to prevent the fall. In some cases, you are able to avoid falling, but might injure yourself in the process. Pulled muscles, torn ligaments, and the like are common reaction related injuries.
5. Injuries from Falling Objects
This category includes both items that fall from shelves and other storage locations, and those that are dropped by other people. These injuries can be severe, depending on the weight of the object and the distance it falls. Using proper storage methods, signage, and personal protective gear can reduce the risk of this type of injury.
6. Collisions with Objects
These injuries occur when the worker walks into a stationary object. Doors, tables, chairs, cabinets, and windows are just a few of the items that fall into this category. Intelligent layouts, a tidy environment, and proper signage can help to prevent this type of injury.
7. Motor Vehicle Crashes
Anyone who drives or rides as a passenger for work is at risk for this type of work related injury. Safe driving policies, proper driver training, and rigorous vehicle maintenance are keys to minimizing the risk for motor vehicle crashes.
This is a broad category that includes any situation in which a worker is trapped. These injuries are most common in factories that regularly use large, heavy machines, but can also occur when restaurant employees are trapped in a walk-in cooler or workers are caught in other types of equipment. A variety of safety releases and automatic shutoff devices are available for different types of machinery to reduce these risks. Workers who use heavy or dangerous equipment should be taught proper handling methods, how to turn off power, and how to dress to minimize the chances of clothing becoming caught.
Repetitive Use Injuries
Repetitive use injuries can occur in employees who perform the same movements over and over again. Office workers who spend most of their day typing are at higher risk, as are those who work on an assembly line. Job rotation, ergonomic workspaces, and frequent rest breaks can help to minimize the risk of a repetitive use injury.
Unfortunately, workplace violence is becoming more and more common, and is nearly impossible to predict. Some assaults are committed by outsiders, such as those robbing a convenience store, while others are performed by disgruntled current or former employees. Workplace violence prevention policies, open channels for communication, and access to employee assistance programs can reduce the risk for violence within the company.
Although not all workplace injuries are preventable, your employer has an obligation to reduce the risks as much as possible. If you are injured on the job, it is important to seek legal representation right away.
Bryan Stubbs, Attorney At Law, assists clients throughout the Tacoma, WA area. To protect your rights, speak to us as soon as possible after an injury. For over 50 years, our office has been helping injured workers on workers compensation claims and third party claims. We will fight for your rights and secure the best outcome for your injury claim!
Contact Bryan Stubbs today at 253-383-5891 to schedule a free initial consultation. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in an accident at work, call us today!