Workplace Accident Injuries
The National Safety Council estimates that every seven seconds, a worker is injured on the job. The resulting recovery time adds up to a staggering 104 million days of lost work every year in the U.S.
The exact injuries workers suffer vary from workplace to workplace. While office workers are more likely to experience injuries related to repetitive stress, many workers in industrial or manufacturing settings are far more likely to be injured due to accidents. Read on to learn about some of the most common injuries workers experience as a result of a workplace accident.
Muscle strains may be repetitive stress injuries, or they may be an acute accident resulting from poor form while lifting, stretching, or reaching. The NSC attributes one-third of all workplace injuries to overexertion and muscle strain.
Workers should use proper form when engaging in physical activity like lifting or moving heavy objects, and they should warm up and cool down whenever possible. Supervisors should make sure workers have adequate water, and can take frequent short breaks.
Muscle strains may be comparatively mild, but especially in workplace settings where workers are engaged in repetitive motions, they may worsen significantly over time. It’s important to deal with muscle strains as they develop, for the worker’s well-being.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls are extremely common causes for workplace injury. Workers may slip a short distance (for instance, on a slippery floor), or in more serious cases they may fall a significant height (such as off the top or side of a building, or down a staircase). The NSC estimates that one-quarter of all workplace accidents are the result of slips and falls.
To prevent these accidents, it’s important to make sure all walking surfaces are dry, clear of obstacles, level, and well-lit. Workers should wear proper footwear. All ladders should be placed on level ground, and tested before they’re used.
These accidents may cause a range of serious injuries, including soft tissue damage, sprains, and even head and spine injuries. Especially if there’s trauma to the head or spine, it’s vital to schedule an appointment with a medical professional as soon as possible. This way, the accident victim can receive necessary treatment and rule out more serious neurological issues that may appear later.
In many industrial settings, there are ample opportunities for crushing or blunt impact accidents. For instance, a worker may be struck by a vehicle on a factory floor. They may be crushed between objects or equipment, or may be caught in equipment that can damage their limbs. In truly tragic accidents, workers are sometimes caught inside a collapsing structure, such as during demolitions.
These sorts of accidents can cause serious injury to soft tissues and internal organs. They can also break and crush bones, and even result in loss of limbs. Depending on the site of impact, they may also cause damage to the head and spinal cord, which can cause serious disability.
It’s important to know where all workers are at all times. Workers operating heavy machinery should be properly trained in its operation, and refrain from using any substances or medication that could affect their perception and alertness. Supervisors should also make sure that if workers are overly tired, they’re removed from the floor or sent home.
Workplace injuries have many causes, and many can pose serious dangers to workers. It’s important to follow basic safety steps, and ensure any injuries are dealt with promptly, such as by visiting accident specialists like Regional Medical Group, if need be. By taking all reasonable safety precautions, workers and supervisors alike can ensure a safe, happy, and productive work environment.