The Ten Most Common Workplace Injuries
We’re taking a look at the top ten most common workplace injuries in a bid to raise awareness and prevent accidents. Although our workplace injury statistics have seen a dramatic reduction in figures in the past 40 years, that’s no reason not to keep trying to improve safety in the workplace.
- FALLS – the common ladder is the main culprit when it comes to falls in the workplace, followed by scaffolding, stairwells and platforms. Work at Height guidelines should be followed closely at all times when using access equipment at work. For those who are required to regularly access a flat roof in order to carry out maintenance and repair work, installing a rooftop demarcation barrier system to provide safe access to the work area is essential.
- SLIPS AND TRIPS – these incidents are often caused by dangerous floor surfaces which can be found in a variety of work locations such as factory floors, offices, bathrooms and car parks. Any surface that could see adverse weather conditions, obstructions, liquid spills or even polish or waxing during the cleaning process could present a slip hazard.
- CRASH OR IMPACT INJURIES – these accidents usually involve a vehicle of some kind, including cars, buses, milk floats, cherry pickers, delivery vans, fork lifts and tractors. Helmets and seat belts should be worn wherever possible to reduce risk.
- FALLING OBJECTS – these injuries are often seen in the construction industry and workplaces where there is shelving, such as warehouse or retail units A safe method of carrying and using tools on construction sites should be strictly adhered to. When working near shelving, it’s essential that objects are properly stacked and secured.
- REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURES – this is an accumulative injury caused by repetitive motion of the joints without adequate breaks, stretching or a change in duties. These injuries are often seen in the wrists and elbows but also in other joints depending on the repetitive task causing the problem.
- BACK AND NECK INJUJRIES – these are often the result of heavy lifting or manual work which can lead to deep muscle tissue damage. Employers should provide safety training on correct lifting techniques and provide any equipment that will reduce the risk of injury.
- BURNS – these injuries, when sustained in the workplace, are often severe enough to require hospital treatment and time off work. Burn injuries are common in the food and restaurant injury while chemical burns can occur in the laboratory.
- CUTS – using blades and other sharp equipment can lead to cuts that may need stitches. Such a broad variety of equipment can cause cuts that training and following relevant safety guidelines is essential at all times.
- INHALATION INJURIES – in some work environments where employees work with chemicals of any sort, inhaling the fumes can cause irritation, adverse reactions in the eyes and skin or even poisoning in severe cases. Workers should always be provided with the correct safety equipment such as goggles, breathing masks, emergency shower facilities, protective clothing, etc.
- HEARING LOSS – this is another cumulative, gradual injury that’s caused by exposure to high volumes. Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is another hearing injury that may be experienced. Although hearing injury is often found in the construction industry with its loud machinery, those working in manufacturing facilities or even the entertainment industry should consider using hearing protection of some sort.