Nobody expects to be injured on the job. In fact, many employers dedicate a large portion of their budget to educating employees on safe practices, in addition to re-vamping facilities to meet safety codes.
Unfortunately, accidents do happen. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1.1 million injuries happened in the workplace in 2011, with an average recuperation time of eight days.
Top 10 Most Common Workplace Injuries
Overexertion – This includes injuries related to pulling, lifting, pushing, holding, carrying, and throwing activities at work. Overexertion has consistently been a number one workplace injury among the surveys and statistics.
- Fall on Same Level Surfaces – This pertains to falls on wet and slippery office floors. Other related examples are falls and slips especially by elderly people on snow covered pathways on their way to work.
- Fall to Lower Level – This type of fall happens from an elevated area such as roofs, ladders, and stairways.
- Bodily Reaction – These are injuries caused by slipping and tripping without falling.
- Struck by Object – Objects that fall from shelves or dropped by another person. These can cause very serious injuries.
- Struck against an Object – This happens when a person accidentally runs into concrete objects such as walls, doors, cabinets, glass windows, table, chairs etc.
- Highway Incident – Transportation used for business purposes such as trucks and cars may be involved in an automobile accident just like any regular traveler.
- Caught In/ Compressed By – This type of injury usually occurs in a factory where large and dangerous machinery is used. Sometimes little or no precaution in its usage may endanger the safety of its operators. Exposure to extreme temperature is also an example of this workplace injury.
- Repetitive Motion – This type of workplace injury is one of those less obvious but definitely harmful ones in the long run. Repetitive motions such as typing and using the computer 24/7 can strain muscles and tendons causing back pain, vision problems, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Assaults and Violent Acts – Attacks caused by office politics and other arguments have led to serious physical injuries.
Careful planning of the office or work area from the location of the equipment, tables and chairs, and also warning signs for other dangerous equipment. Using engineering control systems, work materials can minimize awkward positions, strenuous handling, and repetitive motion problems. Manuals on the proper use of work tools should be regularly updated and enforced to the employees. It is also best if the management can include a wellness plan that incorporates fitness and exercise programs to avoid overexertion. Finally, employees should realize that being extra careful will definitely go a long way. Preventing work injuries will always be a two way street for both employers and employees. CompSource can help identify and successfully launch programs and policies that work best for your company.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the 10 most common citations for safety violations in fiscal year 2011 were:
- Fall protection (7139 violations)
- Scaffolding (7069 violations)
- Hazard communication (6538 violations)
- Respiratory protection (3944 violations)
- Lockout/tagout (3,639 violations)
- Electrical, wiring methods (3584 violations)
- Powered industrial trucks (3432 violations)
- Ladders (3244 violations)
- Electrical, general requirements (2863 violations)
- Machine guarding (2728 violations)