How to Prevent the Top 5 Most Common Workplace InjuriesMarch 7, 2019
It may seem as though the only dangerous workplaces involve power tools or construction sites. However, that is not the case. Workplace accidents and injuries can occur at any workplace.
Here are the five most common workplace injuries:
Slips, Trips & Falls
These types of injuries account for about one-third of all personal injuries in the workplace and are the leading cause of claims for workers’ compensation. Oftentimes slips, trips, and falls result in broken bones, cuts, lacerations, pulled muscles, and head & back injuries.
This type of injury is less likely to occur by ensuring that common areas are kept clear of hazards and debris, proper footwear is worn at all times, and all walking surfaces are kept in good shape.
Getting Caught-In or Struck-By Moving Machinery
One of the more gruesome types of workplace injuries involves getting caught-in or struck-by moving machinery. When body parts are caught-in or struck-by moving machinery, the resulting injuries can be something out of a horror movie: severed limbs, crushed limbs, blindness, and more.
These injuries most often occur in one of three places: the point of operation, where the work is performed on the material, near a power transmission apparatus, where energy is transmitted to perform the work, and other moving points.
Prevention from this type of injury can be encouraged by making sure any hazards are controlled or eliminated, following lock-out/tag out procedures, proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided, and proper training is executed for all operators.
Accidents Related to Transportation and Vehicles
Vehicles are a common cause of workplace injuries. Vehicle-related accidents may include being run over, falling from the vehicle, getting crushed or stuck under an overturned vehicle, and being struck-by objects that are falling from the vehicle.
Vehicle and worker orientation, safe work systems and design, segregated pedestrians and vehicles, and lack of obstructions can all help to minimize the likelihood of this type of accident.
Fires and Explosions
Faulty gas lines, poorly stored combustible materials, open flames, or poor pipefitting usually cause these types of injuries. While they account for only three percent of workplace injuries, these types of injuries have the highest fatality rate among workplace accidents.
They can occur from:
- Direct exposure to the blast (primary)
- Flying objects (secondary)
- Lifting people up and flying them into objects (tertiary)
- Any other result of an explosion (quaternary)
To minimize this type of injury, OSHA encourages following its hazard communication standards, keeping material safety data sheets for chemicals on hand, and requiring all employees to wear Personal Protective Equipment at all times.
It is also imperative that the company has a clearly communicated evacuation plan and alert systems to be able to ensure that everyone has been informed of any emergency situations.
Overexertion and Repetitive Stress Injuries
Musculoskeletal disorders are the most expensive workplace injuries. For example, complaints of back pain cost employers an annual amount of $7.4 billion and contribute to 100 million lost workdays per year. Long-term effects are often severe and debilitating.
These injuries are related to lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, and throwing. These account for almost 33 percent of occupational injuries.
Causes of this type of injury include improper lifting, manually lifting heavy objects, not taking sufficient breaks, working faster, and intensive typing or clicking.
To minimize the likelihood of this type of injury, it is important to provide workers with breaks, proper lifting equipment, and education on ergonomics.
Delaware County Workplace Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Help Injured Workers
If you or a loved one have been injured in a workplace accident, you deserve a compassionate lawyer who understands the law. The Delaware County workplace accident lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello serve individuals throughout state, including those in West Chester and Delaware County from their Media, Pennsylvania office. For a free consultation, call 610-892-4940 or contact us online.