In the course of an average day, we perform a vast array of tasks that could potentially put our health and warfare at risk. While most days, our tasks may seem mundane and harmless, the fact is that workplace injuries can and do happen anywhere. On-the-job injuries can result in pain and suffering, as well as a heavy financial burden for those who have been injured on the job.
Avoiding Common Workplace Injuries
Some of the following are common workplace injuries and what you can do to avoid them:
- Overexertion – overexertion oftentimes leads to sprains and strains to the lower back and is the most common type of workplace injury. It is mainly caused by using excessive physical effort when pulling, lifting, carrying, and pushing items.
- Ways to prevent overexertion includes using proper lifting techniques, enlisting the help of a coworker, and stopping if you feel sore or start to experience lower abdominal pain.
- Falls from heights – falls from heights are often caused by inadequate scaffolding or improperly maintained ladders. as well as poor lighting in places such as stairwells or hallways. Falls can oftentimes result in spinal cord injuries, head trauma, and other serious injuries.
- In order to prevent falls, make sure that the equipment you are using is properly maintained, use safety harnesses – if needed, make sure stairwells and hallways have proper and adequate lighting.
- Slips, trips, and falls – slips, trips, and falls are usually caused by wet or slippery floors and obstacles in walkways. Oftentimes it is something that can be as simple as a box obstructing your walkway that may result in sprains, torn ligaments, fractures, etc.
- Prevent these types of injuries by making sure that pathways are clear of debris and use, “Watch Your Step” signs.
- Repetitive motions – people who usually perform the same tasks repeatedly, whether it is stuffing envelopes, data processing, answering phones, making coffee, etc. may suffer injuries such as sprained or torn ligaments, migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome – to name a few.
- Try to avoid these types of injuries by using proper ergonomics at your desk or work stations, and take frequent breaks. It is suggested to get up and walk away from you computer at least every 20 minutes. Whether that is to stretch, go for a walk, whathaveyou.
What to Do if You Are Injured at Work
The first thing to do if you have been injured at work is to tell your employer and make sure that there is a report on file. Make sure to seek medical attention immediately following the accident and make sure you follow any and all instructions your doctor gives you in terms of treatment and/or follow-up care. Keep a record of how and when the injury happened, and get contact information for anyone who may have witnessed the accident. While you may be contacted by the insurance company of your employer, it is important to not make any statements without talking to a personal injury attorney that is experienced in workplace injuries first! Depending on circumstances, you may be able to acquire damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.