Employees who are injured at work can be compensated through workers comp for medical expenses and lost wages. There are several common work related injuries that apply. This article will review them and their causes so you know what to look out for and how to avoid them.
Common Work Related Injuries
Slips and Falls
Slips and falls are one of the most common work related injuries. They can happen for any reason. They can occur in cluttered office spaces, or they can happen in potentially dangerous jobs like construction.
When a slip and fall occurs, it can result in a minor injury like a cut or sprain, or a major injury that can range from a fractured bone to a traumatic head injury or paralysis. Your employer will be liable for any injury that requires medical care.
Slips and falls can be avoided by keeping work areas clean and by following safety rules. Workers in dangerous occupations should wear the appropriate footwear. Nonslip flooring can also help.
A serious strain can occur when lifting heavy objects. Workers who work with machinery or in shipping facilities may find themselves lifting bulky packages and equipment. If they do not lift properly, a strain can occur. It can interfere with their ability to continue working.
Employers should train workers in proper lifting techniques to avoid strains and other work related injuries. They should also provide them with back braces or safety harnesses that will support them while they lift.
Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs)
RSIs are another one of the most common work related injuries. They are likely to occur in workers who make the same movements repeatedly at work. They can occur in someone who uses a computer every day, assembly line workers, or construction workers who repeat the same tasks.
Common RSIs include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Mouse shoulder
- Tennis elbow
- Trigger thumb
- Trigger finger
RSIs can be avoided with regular breaks. Ergonomic equipment will also help workers avoid injuries. Employees should encourage workers to maintain optimal physical health to reduce injury risk.
Burns are likely to occur in workers who work with chemicals or hot equipment. They may get a thermal burn from an open flame or heat source, an electrical burn from working with electric equipment, or a chemical burn from working with a cleaner or solvent.
A burn injury varies in intensity. A first-degree burn can be treated with cold compresses. But a second or third-degree burn, that goes deeper and covers a greater area of the skin, will require medical attention.
Burns can be avoided by training workers so they take the proper precautions. The right safety equipment and gear will also reduce the risk of these work related injuries.
Cuts can occur when employees use letter openers, box cutters, and sharp objects. In most instances, cuts aren’t severe. But sometimes, they can be quite deep and require medical attention.
Employers can avoid cuts by training workers so they know how to safely use sharp equipment. They should also monitor the office to ensure there are no sharp edges that can cause accidental cuts.
Common Work Related Injury Causes
If you drive for a living, or if your job involves driving, you may become involved in a car accident during work hours. Your employer may be liable for damages. Liability will be contingent on the circumstances of the accident. It will depend on who was at fault and what you were doing when the accident occurred.
Car accidents can result in various work related injuries- some more severe than others. If you are lucky, you can walk away with a few cuts and bruises. If the car accident is serious, a fatality can occur.
Collisions and crashes can be avoided if employers conduct background checks on driver history and regular drug tests. They can also offer training to keep workers safe on the road. If the employee drives long stretches at a time, encourage them to take breaks and pull over when they are tired.
It’s sad but true, people often fight at work- and sometimes it gets physical. Fights can occur between two workers or a worker and a customer. Workers who care for animals are also prone to attacks.
Workers comp may cover fight-related injuries depending on the circumstances.
Employers can reduce fights at work by enforcing a zero-tolerance policy. If animals are involved, workers should be trained in how to handle them. They should also be provided with gear to decrease the risk of work related injuries if an attack occurs.
Falling items can cause a traumatic brain injury, a spinal injury, or a bone fracture. The severity of the injury will depend on the item that fell and where the worker was struck. An incident can happen in a cluttered office or on a construction site.
Companies can keep employees safe by securing items stored in high places. If the company works in a dangerous industry, like construction, they must provide workers with the proper gear to prevent work related injuries.
Fires and Explosions
Fires and explosions can happen in any workplace, but they are likely to occur in facilities where chemicals are used. Workers can be injured in several ways when a fire or explosion happens. They can be hurt by flying objects, they can get burned, they can inhale toxic substances, or they can be thrown around by the force of the blast.
Businesses can keep workers safe by eliminating electrical hazards. They can ensure employee safety by installing smoke and fire alarms and posting clear escape plans. If chemicals are used, they must be stored properly and used safely.
Many work related injuries can occur at the workplace. With the proper precautions, employees will keep their workers safe. Good luck avoiding injuries at your company.