Why Do Injuries in the Workplace Happen and How Can They be Prevented?

Injuries in the Workplace

Workplace injuries are actually fairly common. Though many are minor injuries, some are much more severe and can even result in death. Some of the most dangerous workplaces include construction, transportation/trade, manufacturing, and agriculture. So why do so many injuries happen in the workplace, which injuries are most common, and is there any way to prevent such injuries from happening?

What Are the Most Common Workplace Injuries?

Many industries have injuries that are specific to them, such as falls from a height in construction. However, there are many injuries that can occur in just about any type of workplace.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

These types of injuries make up the majority of workers’ compensation claims. It’s possible to trip over something or slip on a wet floor in just about every work environment. Workplaces that require their employees to climb ladders have a higher risk of falls. 

Overextension/Muscle Strains

Strains are also common in the majority of work environments. They can be as small as a strain from typing on a keyboard or moving a mouse, or they can be more serious such as back strains from lifting heavy objects. Structures collapsing under a worker’s feet can also cause muscle strains and even broken bones.

Struck by an Object

This type of injury is more common in work environments that use heavy machinery, but can also occur in corporate settings. If the desk or countertop edges are too sharp, an employee can become injured simply by walking too close.

Why Do Workplace Injuries Happen?

More often than not, workplace injuries are the result of the injured worker’s own actions. 

Distractions

Everyone has a life outside of work, but sometimes the two overlap. If an employee is preoccupied with things going on outside of work, they’re more likely to make a mistake that may result in an injury.

Overconfidence

Some employees come in overconfident, while others may become overconfident— especially if they’ve been doing their jobs for a long time. They may get comfortable and ignore certain safety procedures or work too fast, which can result in an injury.

Other times, circumstances that are beyond the employees’ control are the cause of workplace injuries.

Overworking

Certain situations may cause an employer to have to overwork their current team temporarily, while other employers choose to overwork their team to cut costs— even when it’s not necessary. Overworked employees are more likely to make mistakes that could result in an injury.

Unprepared for the Job

An injury can also occur if an employee hasn’t been properly trained. It’s one of the many responsibilities of a business owner to ensure that all employees are trained properly, whether they’re the ones doing the training or not.

How to Prevent Workplace Injuries

Unfortunately, 100% of all workplace injuries can’t be prevented all the time, but employers and employees together can make sure that they limit the amount of injuries by reducing the likelihood that they can happen. 

Keep a Clutter-Free Work Environment

When a work environment is in disarray with materials, equipment, and other objects scattered about, the risk of slipping/tripping/falling is increased. Make sure that there is always a clear walking path in your workplace, and always put things back in their proper place.

Properly Train Employees

Properly trained employees are confident (but not overly confident), and they know the importance of always being safe to avoid mistakes and injuries. It’s important that employees know the correct way to use work materials and equipment, and also know how to determine if a piece of equipment is faulty— which can avoid further injury.

Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Some jobs require their employees to wear PPE, such as safety glasses, hard hats, boots, and earplugs. Employees should be taught to wear and use their PPE correctly during training, and they should always use it in potentially hazardous situations.

Motivate Employees

Last, but not least, it’s important that employees stay motivated. This can be done by employers showing their employees how much they’re appreciated. Employees tend to do their best work when they feel appreciated and also when they aren’t constantly overworked.

If you’ve been injured at work you may need to contact a lawyer, such as Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, to ensure that you get your full benefits.