22 Aug 10 of the Most Common Workplace Accidents and Injuries
While some workplaces, such as construction sites and chemical plants are inherently more hazardous than others, all workplaces can pose a potential risk of workplace injury. Most common of these include:
- Falls: Falls can cause serious personal injury at a variety of worksites, and include elevated falls from cranes, ladders, and scaffolding.
- Falling/Moving Objects: This is a very common workplace injury. Workers/employees get hit by falling objects in a wide variety of workplace environments. Proper safety guidelines, precautions and providing adequate storage cages can make a huge difference.
- Overexertion: Working too hard or ignoring OSHA regulations regarding the safe limits for employees lifting heavy objects can cause serious workplace injuries.
- Auto accidents: Accidents resulting in impact injuries are also very common workplace-related injuries. A careless operator of heavy machinery can cause serious injury to himself/herself or to fellow workers. Vehicles or equipment in need of maintenance can predispose to such injuries. These can involve cars, lorries, forklift trucks, etc. Employers who operate them should wear seatbelts and take other safety precautions while operating these.
- Muscular injuries: Strained muscles are another commonplace work-related injury, primarily related to lifting heavy items at work. Back and neck strains are very common at a workplace. These injuries can be avoided with some basic training in proper lifting techniques.
- Repetitive strain injury: It can result from any repetitive motion of the joints. The most common variety is carpal tunnel syndrome. Taking into account ergonomic considerations for the workplace can prevent many of these from occurring. Encouraging and reminding workers to take appropriate breaks also helps.
- Cuts and lacerations: There is an enormous range of workplace equipment that can cause cuts and lacerations. The most common causes include poor training, inadequate safety procedures, such as not wearing the proper protection. Adequate safety equipment, safety guidelines, and appropriate training can minimize these occurrences.
- Toxic fumes/chemicals: Employees who work with hazardous chemicals may be at risk of potentially serious injuries when exposed to them without protection. Protective equipment such as safety goggles, protective headgear/clothing is critically important in these situations.
- Exposure to loud noise: Several industries expose their workers to loud noises, and it is imperative to wear ear protection to prevent deafness. Industrial deafness can lead to large lawsuits so employers must ensure safety precautions.
- Workplace fights: Workplace tensions can lead to physical confrontation between workers. Fights in the workplace can result in terrible injuries. Effective procedures for dealing with employee grievances can help reduce such events.
There are innumerable ways people can get injured at work, and while some cannot be reasonably prevented, there is a wide range of precautions and preventive steps that can be taken by both, employers and employees to minimize them. Adequate training, clear signage, universal precautions, implementing safety guidelines, well-maintained equipment all play an important part.