It’s not uncommon for workplace injuries to occur, and they can vary from role to role in severity. However, there are some steps that you can take to avoid them.
What are the most common workplace injuries?
No matter what type of industry you work in, you can always be subject to risks and hazards in the workplace. It’s important that you’re aware of them in order to avoid them. These often consist of:
- Trips, slips and falls
These can happen at any point, anywhere in the workplace, and are usually the result of incorrectly managed items such as wires or boxes left unattended, poor lighting, cluttered workplaces, and wet floors that are not clearly signposted. Trips and slips also account for 1/3 of all workplace personal injuries.
- Fires and explosions
These sometimes fatal workplace accidents are often caused by things like faulty gas lines, open flames that are incorrectly managed, the mixing of chemicals that shouldn’t be combined, and incorrectly stored combustible supplies. This type of incident can cause varying degrees of burning and skin damage, issues to the respiratory system, and possible disfigurement because of burns and exposure to the naked flames or explosion.
- Stress and overexertion related injuries
These injuries can often occur without the person realizing as they usually occur over time. They can be caused by incorrect posture at work, lifting things that are too heavy or lifting incorrectly, sitting in chairs that don’t provide lumbar support or train to the eyes and any other muscle.
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These musculoskeletal injuries are one of the costliest work-related injuries there are due to so many workers complaining of them. This can also result in employees taking time off work for extended periods of time.
- Getting caught in moving machinery
When working with heavy machinery it’s important to consider the risks of getting potentially caught in it. These accidents can happen to anyone who works with moving machinery and it’s considered a higher-risk job than an office-based one might be due to the nature of there being more hazards to consider.
These accidents often occur when machinery is not correctly guarded with safety equipment, the worker hasn’t been given the right tools for the job, or the worker is wearing the wrong clothing for the task at hand – for example, long dangly shoelaces or sleeves can get caught in the mechanics.
What should you do to avoid them?
Having the right knowledge, awareness, and tools to hand can help minimise the chances of having a workplace injury.
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Be sure to wear the right type of footwear and appropriate garments when working to keep you from slipping or getting your sleeves caught in a piece of machinery. It’s also important to ensure that the floors are clean, tidy of any debris and potential trip hazards and that if they need to be cleaned and left wet for whatever reason then they are clearly signposted.
It’s recommended that cleaning the floor whilst nobody is there, at the end of the day, is the safest way to avoid having any of your employees slip or fall. This gives the floor ample time to dry ready for the next morning.
If you are dealing with heavy machinery and work in a noisy environment, it’s important to keep your eyes and ears safe. Wear ear protection such as earplugs to prevent hearing loss, along with a pair of goggles to avoid any debris flying up and causing sight damage.
Your employer should provide you with all the relevant safety equipment to do your job, as well as rigorous training and safety posters and examples around your workspace. If you feel that you may be at risk of a workplace injury, be sure to speak to your manager and alert them of your concerns.