Top 10 Causes of Work Related Injuries
No matter how attentive and conscientious you are about observing health and safety rules on the job, the potential for workplace injuries is ever-present. Not only can these injuries put employees at risk of hospitalization – or even death – it also can impact your insurance rates, reduce productivity, increase workers’ compensation claims and affect company morale. Team vigilance at all levels is critical in maintaining a safe environment and reducing causes of work related accidents. The top 10 work place injuries range from fatigue to wrecks and overexertion, and many are preventable with proper training and awareness.
Top 10 Causes of Disabling Injuries at Work:
Physical and Metal Fatigue
The issue of fatigue in the workplace is not one that the employer can completely fix on their own. After all, employers cannot exactly mandate a bedtime to ensure they all get a full 8 hours of sleep. The workplace can, however, do some things to help give employees the ability to ensure they are well-rested and ready to perform their jobs safely each day. The following are some effective options to consider:
- Manage Overtime – It is sometimes necessary to have employees working extra hours to get the jobs done. Make sure that this is not required every day. In situations where a lot of overtime is necessary, make sure to track which employees are working it to ensure they are not becoming fatigued.
- Mandatory Breaks – Many workers choose to skip breaks so they can focus on their work. This can cause them to become physically and mentally fatigued throughout the day. Requiring that employees take their breaks throughout the day can help ensure they are getting the much-needed mental rest.
- Limit Work from Home – Some positions have the ability to work from home. Things like checking email, making schedules, and other similar activities. This can make it so employees can’t effectively recoup from the day’s work, which can lead to increased fatigue.
- Watch for Signs of Fatigue – Having everyone watch for signs of a fatigued employee can help. If someone is seen dozing off, or having slow response times, or even acting irritable, it may be a good idea for them to take a break, or even go home for the day to rest.
Stress-Related Injuries on the Job
Job security, finances, health issues and anxiety about personal relationships all factor into the stress equation. When an employee’s mind is too distracted by real or perceived threats, they are not only more likely to make mistakes that could cause injury but also invites an increased risk of a heart attack, stroke or hypertension.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Workers working on manufacturing assembly lines or people doing repetitive tasks over a long period of time often sustain repetitive stress injuries. Injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, bursitis and tendonitis are all examples of repetitive stress injuries. These can be very debilitating injuries and often require refraining from the repetitive task for a significant period. This is the leading cause of injury in the construction industry.
Overexertion When Lifting
Overexertion can happen with lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing objects. Back injuries and shoulder injuries are some of the more debilitating injuries we see in this category at our offices. A herniated disc in your back or torn rotator cuff in your shoulder can, depending on your job, result in prolonged and sometimes permanent disability from your employment. This is the leading cause of injury in the retail, healthcare, manufacturing, wholesale and transportation industries.
Slips and Trips
Whatever your particular work setting is – whether you work in a shop, a factory or an office – you’re likely to encounter slippery surfaces at some point, so it’s not a totally remote possibility that you might come a cropper on one.
Another big risk for many is falling while working at height; falls from ladders are most common, but falls from scaffolding and other platforms can also be dangerous.
Toppling and Falling Objects
Being struck by a falling object or a piece of equipment is one of the leading causes of death in the construction industry, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and other industries aren’t immune from such accidents.
Cuts and Lacerations
All sorts of office implements can end up leaving their user with a painful cut. From power saws to paper trimmers, it is very easy to injure yourself at work. The most common causes of these lacerations include poor training, inadequate safety procedures and failing to wear the proper protection. Employers can help prevent such accidents by providing adequate safety equipment and putting the right procedures (including training) in place.
Exposure to Loud Noise
You might think that industrial deafness is a thing of the past and went out with all those old heavy industries, but that is not the case. Many industrial workers continue to be exposed to loud noises while at work. Industrial deafness can also result in major compensation payouts further along the line, so it is very much in employers’ interest to nip this particular problem in the bud. Safety measures such as ear protection can do much to prevent it.
Collisions with Co-Workers and Objects
This category includes injuries caused by an object falling from above and striking a worker. Workers in warehouses, retail stores, construction sites, as well as plumbers, electricians, and carpenters all have the potential to be injured from objects. Opening a door too quickly or turning a corner too fast are frequent causes of unintended collisions with co-workers. While it may not be with enough force to knock one or the other unconscious, the potential for injury escalates if there are hot liquids, sharp implements or heavy objects involved.
A transportation incident can include a wreck in a work vehicle, being struck by a work vehicle or back over accidents. Rail, flight and water accidents are also included in the measurement. In 2016, 2,083 workers died in a transportation incident.
Our California Workplace Injury Lawyer is Here to Help
Although there’s no shortage of ways people can injure themselves at work, there are various things employers can do to prevent their employees from coming to any avoidable harm. Good training, clear signage and access to the necessary safety equipment can all be a big help. Regular risk assessments are also a very good idea. You can’t always legislate for sheer absent-mindedness, but you can at least avoid a lot of unnecessary mishaps.
If you have been injured on the job site, the law office of Brent A. Duque is here to help you recover the compensation you deserve for the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of a workplace injury. Our accident attorneys are proud to serve the needs of workplace and construction accident victims and their families who have suffered the injury or wrongful death of a loved one in a workplace accident. Workers compensation may not be nearly enough; you may need a personal injury attorney to help you receive the help you need when injured on the job. Call our attorneys today at 1-877-241-9554 to discuss your case. The consultation is absolutely free.