Workplaces are rife with a number of accidents. While on the one hand, it can mean days away from work affecting business performance, on the other it can lead to serious injuries and even loss of life. As they say, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Let us take a look at the 5 common work-related injuries and importantly some workplace safety tips to avoid them:
1. Slips, trips, and falls
Slips, trips, and falls account for a large proportion of workplace injuries as also workers’ compensation claims. There are a large number of factors leading to these accidents, common among them being spillages or even seemingly innocuous stuff like a loose rug or other such common housekeeping errors.
A large part of preventing these accidents include:
- Good housekeeping practices such as ensuring spillages are immediately cleaned or that there is no clutter lying around.
- Having proper walking surfaces, including fixing anti-slip mats and surfaces.
- Proper footwear with anti-slip outer soles.
2. Injuries Caused by Machinery
Being stuck in moving machinery is yet another factor that can lead to debilitating accidents such as those involving crushed arms and worse. Workplace safety tips to avoid such accidents include robust training to employees as also the implementation of proper lockout processes. Ensuring that workers have protective clothing is also a strong part of avoiding work-related injuries caused by moving machinery.
3. Crashes and Collisions
Crashes at work could often involve forklift trucks or even cars. The fact that their consequences can be quite nasty is a strong enough reason to ensure that processes are in place to prevent them. These include that workers are trained and cognizant of all safety processes. What is also of importance is to ensure that workers aren’t overworked and that crashes aren’t the result of the overwhelm that comes from long shift hours. Ensuring proper maintenance of vehicles as well as focusing on workplace design and having designated walkways are some of the other aspects of ensuring safety.
4. Fire and Explosions
A number of factors such as faulty gas lines, improperly stored material and more can result in fires or explosions. These can cause burns as well as damage to the respiratory system. It is extremely important to undertake a proper risk assessment when it comes to fire hazards. Wearing protective equipment, proper material handling guidelines and a clear evacuation plan are some of the safety tips to be followed.
5. Repetitive Stress-Related Injuries
Besides overtly visible accidents, there are a number of injuries that are caused on account of repetitive stress and overexertion. Musculoskeletal disorders, for one, lead to lost workdays and productivity, besides being debilitating for employees. Not only can they result in immediate pain, but they could also have long-term impairment issues. Some of the aspects to keep in mind to avoid such injuries include:
- Ensure that you use mechanical aids if you are lifting heavy objects. If you do need to undertake manual lifting, you need to be mindful of using your knees and not your back.
- Taking short breaks in between work that allow for rest and stretching.
Besides, for jobs that require workers to be on their feet all day, care must be taken in the selection of footwear. Areas to watch out for include:
- Having a cushioned insole to protect the feet and provide a supportive foundation
- A wide toe box that gives wiggle room to swollen feet at the end of a long day
- A deep heel cup that stabilizes the foot besides also aligning it with the knee, hips and ankles. This goes a long way in limiting excessive pronation and reducing pain in the feet and back.