An unexpected workplace injury can be catastrophic for anyone. Serious injuries can leave the victim unable to work as they face staggering medical bills, long-term health complications, and increased challenges in their daily life. By understanding the most common risk factors for injuries in the workplace, managers and company leadership can take the necessary steps to protect their employees and their business at the same time. In this article, we discuss some of the leading causes of workplace injuries and how to address them effectively.
Believe it or not, overexertion is one of the leading causes of injury in the U.S. workplace. Overexertion is frequently caused by repetitive tasks, such as lifting, carryin, pulling, throwing, or holding objects. When a person is injured due to exceeding their body’s limits, soft tissue injuries are likely to occur. Soft tissue injuries can take months to heal and may even require surgical intervention, which can leave an injured worker unable to work for quite some time.
When a worker suffers an overexertion injury due to negligence, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages associated with the harm they suffered. While this may provide some much-needed financial relief, the lasting impact on the injured worker’s health can be long-lasting and significant.
A fall can occur at any time and location, which is why they are one of the most common forms of workplace injury. Wet floors, loose wires, poor lighting, stairs with unsecure railings, and work equipment can cause people to stumble or lose their balance. While any fall is capable of causing serious injury, falls from significant height are the most dangerous. Anytime an employee is going to be working above ground level, they must be provided with adequate equipment and fall protection gear. Doing so can reduce the risk of serious harm or death.
Injuries From Falling Objects or Equipment
When someone mentions the phrase “falling objects,” we tend to think of heavy items falling unexpectedly out of the sky to land on some unsuspecting victim below. In reality, almost any item can cause serious injuries if dropped from high enough, even if it is not incredibly heavy. As an example, a wind turbine worker was hit in the head by a four-pound bolt that became unsecured and fell a hundred feet. The worker was knocked unconscious and suffered a serious head injury.
To avoid the risk of injuries caused by falling items, workplaces should implement the following:
- Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Secure materials and equipment
- Offer training on safe work practices
- Provide proper fall protection
- Place visible barriers and warning signs in dangerous areas
- Regularly clean and maintain the workplace
- Inspect tools and equipment regularly
- Have an emergency plan and ensure everyone knows it
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car, motorcycle, bus, pedestrian, and truck accidents can occur anywhere, even at your place of employment. Even worse, depending on your state’s laws, it may be possible that motor vehicle accidents on the way to or from work may not be covered under your workers’ compensation policy. This can leave accident victims in a very challenging place if they are unable to recover any compensation for the injuries they suffer through a workers’ compensation claim.
If you are injured in a collision, seek assistance from an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney as soon as possible to determine what your options are for seeking compensation for your wounds. They will be able to help you move forward in the aftermath of your collision.
Anyone working with or around heavy machinery is at risk of suffering serious injuries if they are struck by or pulled into the equipment. To reduce the chances of a catastrophic accident, moving machinery and dangerous work areas should have appropriate warning signage. Workers should be properly trained to operate any machinery they may be required to use to fulfill their role, to reduce the risk of an accident occurring due to a lack of knowledge or training.
Access to areas of the workplace featuring heavy machinery, dangerous chemicals, or other workplace hazards should be restricted to essential personnel. Regular inspections must be performed to ensure that the workplace is free of unreasonable dangers.
Taking Action to Reduce Workplace Injuries
Every worker ought to be able to go to work without fearing that they will suffer serious harm in a preventable workplace accident. By promoting effective training, inspecting the workplace regularly, and promptly correcting any safety hazards, management is able to effectively protect their workforce from unreasonable risk. If you observe a hazard, follow your workplace’s reporting protocols and notify your supervisors immediately, so the issue can be resolved.