Injuries in the workplace occur every year. These are accidents or complications that are caused directly by the job or work environment. The workplace is filled with safety hazards that can cause fatal injuries to employees. Unfortunately, threats like these are usually neglected and not given appropriate attention. In 2018, there were about 5,250 grave workplace injuries. Although accidents in the workplace are something that all employers strive to avoid, sometimes these accidents are inevitable. These types of injuries can offer a variety of challenges for employers and business owners.
Moreover, your workplace can experience a decrease in productivity as well as inconvenient legal and financial implications. That is why it is essential to identify the potential safety hazards found in your workplace to avoid these accidents’ negative consequences. Here are some types of injuries that commonly take place in the workplace.
Common types of worker injuries
The first and most common type of injuries in the workplace is unfortunate and accidental trips and falls. According to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these accidents cause more than 25% of workplace injuries. Trips or slips are usually caused by slippery, wet, and oily surfaces, loose rugs and carpets, random objects positioned in inappropriate places.
Falls usually happen in more hands-on and physical jobs like construction, where employees spend a lot of time on scaffolding, roofs, or ladders. This type of injury can result in broken bones, neck injuries, sprains, cuts, and other internal injuries, which would require consultation with legal specialists such as a spinal cord injury attorney. The recovery period for trips and falls may take a while for employees to get better altogether. Moreover, more severe cases can potentially lead to an employee’s paralysis or even death.
Another type of injury is muscle strains. Muscle strains usually happen to workers who improperly or manually lift or handle heavy objects at work. Also, employees performing the same intense movements may acquire this type of injury. This often involves workers who are continually typing and clicking at a keyboard for the whole day. These types of tasks can cause overexertion or recurring stress that can lead to serious musculoskeletal disorders.
Moreover, injuries caused by exposure to toxic substances in factories are typical for industrial employees and miners. These employees must work with and handle hazardous minerals and chemicals that can cause illnesses due to chronic exposure. There are also chances for workers to exhale toxic fumes that can lead to eye or skin irritations and other severe injuries and complications.
Other types of complications are injuries from fault or dangerous equipment, crashes and collisions from cars, trucks, moving machinery, explosions or fire, and psychological or emotional trauma.
Actions to take as an employer
As stated by the worker’s compensation laws, employers must pay for the employee’s medical bills and compensation for the missed work hours. All the expenses needed by the employee should be covered, and this includes fees for rehabilitation if required. The employer must follow specific processes to ensure that the employee can get the necessary benefits and compensation for the injuries acquired at work. The employer’s documentation or report about the incidents should also be created and presented to the local worker’s compensation board office.
How to prevent workplace injuries
To prevent injuries and additional costs, it is best to ensure your employees’ safety with a few simple steps.
Primarily, what you can do as an employer is to be aware of your surroundings and listen to your workers’ concerns regarding the hazards they have observed. Open communication is essential for employers and employees, especially for issues that involve the worker’s mental well-being.
Another thing to promote is the employee’s awareness and knowledge of their surroundings at work. Workplace injury prevention programs can be done to know about the warning signs or steps to take when faced with potential risks.
After that, removing the current risks found in the workplace can keep your employees safe and out of harm’s way. The fewer hazards that can result in fatal injuries, the fewer complications you will have at work. Making sure the pieces of machinery and tools at work are working and throwing out the defective ones can be a great way to do this.
To conclude, every employee’s safety and health should be prioritized no matter what field of business they are in. Prevention strategies can help preserve your employees’ lives and the growth and development of your business or company.