Workplace injuries are on the decline due to increased safety and health requirements. Technology also helps identify and address safety concerns, such as wearable devices and drones in the construction industry. While some injuries and hazards are workplace-specific, others are ubiquitous. These include:
- Trips, slips, and falls. Poorly marked wet floors, oil spills, and ice around the office entrance and parking lot can all slip hazards. Employees are also more prone to tripping in cluttered workspaces and insufficient lighting. Fall hazards are more common in construction, as they spend a lot of their time on ladders, scaffolding, and roofs. Preventing these injuries requires employers and employees to remain alert to their surroundings. Proper signage, preventative measures (e.g., salting ahead of a winter storm), clean workplaces, and personal protective equipment go a long way to mitigating these types of injuries.
- Overexertion can cause a wide range of injuries, such as repetitive stress injuries and muscle strains. Some of these injuries can have long-term effects that detract from employees’ productivity and quality of life. Examples of overexertion injuries include typing on a non-ergonomic keyboard, lifting heavy objects with poor form, repetitive labor with too few breaks, and so on. Even if the object isn’t heavy, employees who must frequently lift, carry, or push objects have a higher risk of developing overexertion injuries. Some methods to prevent them include training employees on how to lift with proper technique, providing regular breaks, and using forklifts or similar machinery to lift objects exceeding 50 pounds.
- Strikes by falling objects or equipment. Falling equipment and heavy machinery can cause serious harm to employees, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, loss of fingers or appendages, and more. Reducing these injuries requires constant vigilance of the surroundings, following all safety protocols and procedures, and wearing personal protective equipment.
- Collisions. Most people immediately think of vehicles when discussing collisions, but cars and trucks aren’t the only hazards that cause crashes. For example, employees operating forklifts or other mobile machinery can cause significant injuries. Employees that must drive as part of their work have a greater risk of crashes and collisions due to spending more time on the road. Employees can reduce this risk by adhering to workplace safety procedures, wearing a seatbelt, following the speed limit, and avoiding distracted driving.
Regular safety training, comprehensive safety policies, and preventative measures are critical to prevent workplace injuries. However, accidents can still occur despite employers’ best efforts. Contact Windermere Insurance Group to learn more about reducing risk in the workplace.