Workplace injuries can have a plethora of adverse effects for both employees and employers. Businesses can experience decreased productivity, lowered employee satisfaction, increased liability costs, and lessened wages due to the injury. The injured or sick employee may also have a harder recovery, longer recovery time, lowered income, and increased social embarrassment because of their injury at work. These are all bad for businesses.
When workplace injuries are caused by negligence, a worker or employee may file a personal injury claim. They can contact a personal injury lawyer to handle their case. If you live in New Jersey or other big cities, you can easily find personal injury lawyers who can work on your case. There are different types of personal injury lawyers, depending on their specialties. There are NJ slip and fall lawyers, burn-related injury lawyers, and many more.
A personal injury attorney is a lawyer who offers legal representation to those who claim to be injured, either physically or psychologically, due to the negligence of someone else, organization, government agency, or some entity. Personal injury attorneys are known to offer comprehensive representation to their clients, both individuals and institutions, that may be subjected to unforeseen circumstances that may require them to take actions under the conditions defined by tort law to ensure the timely resolution of claims and the protection of their clients.
Every worker and employee must be aware of the most common workplace injuries to change their behavior and be more safety-conscious to prevent them from happening. This article will tackle the most common workplace injuries and discuss the most common causes these injuries occur. This article will also provide some tips on how to prevent these injuries and accidents from happening.
Common Workplace Accidents
Every workplace is different, but these common injuries can still happen when workers aren’t conscious of their actions and environment:
Slip And Fall
Slip and falls are common in many workplaces. There are certain occupational areas where there are more incidents of slip and fall-related injuries. These include construction, building maintenance, plumbing, roofing, maintenance, and landscaping. The reason behind this is that the working environment in these areas is usually very harsh. The majority of the people working in these jobs are required to work on sloping surfaces.
Slip and fall accidents are often caused by the failure to use safety equipment such as hand appropriately holds, footholds, rails, or guardrails. Improper use of this equipment results in tripping hazards and other hazards due to misalignment. Another major cause of accidents is poor flooring. This is because improperly sloped floors pose a slipping risk.
Back-related injuries are the most common type of injury in the work environment. They can include strains, sprains, muscle tears, and more. Back injuries can be caused by several different factors, but usually, there are three general categories: mechanical, structural, and repetitive. The most frequent cause of back-related injury in the workplace is a mechanical force.
Repetitive strain injury can also cause by some back-related injuries. This is a type of injury that is caused by a gradual build-up of damage to the muscles and nerves from repetitive motions. Back injuries can develop when you sit during long periods or frequently carry heavy objects at work.
Common back injuries can also be caused by poor posture when lifting, overextending the muscles or ligaments and using poor lifting techniques. Poor posture can lead to strain, pulled muscles, and torn tendons. Stress is another contributor to back injuries.
A burn is tissue damage caused by heat, radiation, chemicals or electricity, and fire. Commonly caused by direct contact with flames, burns in all their forms can be severe or life-threatening. Other types of burns are an indirect result of another ailment, such as smoke inhalation from a fire or an allergy to certain chemicals.
Workers in the foodservice industry are particularly at high risk for developing these types of burns because they generally have little protection against heat or flames. Workers may be exposed to these hazards through improper use of electrical equipment, spills, contact with hot surfaces, improper disposal of used grease and oil, and poor ventilation. Other sources of burns include using equipment that isn’t designed to handle high temperatures and working with excessive heat or cold temperatures.
Cuts And Lacerations
While cuts and lacerations are most commonly associated with manual labor, they can also result from a machine, tool, or other human error. In addition, injuries can be caused by faulty or dangerous equipment, improper safety procedures, or poor health and safety practices. While many people consider laceration simply a break in the skin, this sort of cut or scratch is a severe injury that can permanently affect the skin.
Exposure To Harmful Substances
In many industrial plants, workers may unknowingly ingest harmful chemicals. Some of the toxic chemicals and substances present in the workplace include dust, radiation, pesticides, and chemicals found in the laboratory.
Most of the injuries from ingesting or inhaling harmful substances can’t be felt instantly. Sometimes it takes years before you can observe some symptoms or effects.
Causes Of Workplace Accidents
The most common causes of workplace injuries can be difficult to identify at first glance. But when you assess the situation, you’ll learn that most workplace accidents occur because of the following:
- Unruly or unorganized workplace
- Not following proper positions when lifting
- No guarding around machinery
- Working despite having a medical condition
Aside from the abovementioned causes, some workplace injuries resulted from a lack of required personal protective equipment. These can include eyewash stations, ear protectors, safety shoes, and other forms of personal protective equipment.
Additionally, failure by an employer to appropriately train employees is also a common cause of accidents. When workers know that their employers are legally responsible for their safety, they’re more likely to abide by safe working conditions.
How To Prevent Workplace Accidents
Workplace injuries cost money to repair and time off from work, and severe injuries can lead to permanent disability. Therefore, everyone in employment needs to know how to prevent accidents at work. Here are some helpful tips that will help a business and their employees avoid any injuries from happening inside the workplace:
Employees must have proper training when it comes to using or operating machinery. Aside from that, all employees must have basic safety training, so they know how to be safe while they’re in the workplace. Safety training in the workplace has become a necessary part of most businesses. All employers need to implement safety measures into their workplace to avoid injuries or illnesses among their workers. Safety training helps ensure that workers are aware of their responsibilities and understand their roles in the business.
Employers should train their employees on safety procedures. This includes knowing how to use safety equipment like wheel guards, safety vests, and other items that can prevent accidents and illnesses among their workers. Training also teaches employees how to take precautions in the workplace to avoid accidents or illnesses. Employers should also remind their employees about the need to wear protective clothing like gloves and masks when doing tasks like heavy lifting. This way, accidents caused by human contact like contact with heavy objects can be avoided.
Employers need to have a written safety policy. This policy should be written clearly and this includes the measures taken to prevent workplace injuries and the procedures followed for any accidents. By being aware of any dangers associated with the workplace environment and developing good work safety habits, workers can help make a safer workplace. The written policy should include any precautions taken to avoid accidents and how to report them. The policy may also cover any liability that the employer may face if an accident occurs.
Observance Of Proper Safety Procedures
Sometimes injuries in the workplace are caused by not having a safety-first mindset and ignoring the safety protocols in every activity. Employers should also monitor their staff and make sure that they follow the proper procedures for workplace accidents.
Employers should ensure that their safety procedures are adhered to at all times. They can monitor their staff using video cameras. The videos will serve as proof of what exactly is happening at all times.
Having A Safe Working Environment And Use PPEs
As employers, it’s their responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their employees. For example, to protect themselves against the risk of developing work-related burn injuries, restaurant owners and operators must ensure that their kitchens are well-ventilated, safe from dangerous temperatures, and clean. Aside from that, employers should provide proper personal protective equipment like masks, goggles, and gloves for their employees.
Employees should also be responsible for making their workstations clean at all times. It’s also the employees’ responsibility to adhere to the safety protocols and policies of the company.
Employees could use different types of gloves in the kitchen. They may require heat-resistant gloves when they are working with hot pans and the like, but they may need comfortable and high-performing nitrile gloves for other tasks. These are useful when handling dirty pots and pans, dishes, and utensils. Workers can utilize these when they are preparing ingredients too.
Due to the increased number of reported work-related injuries every year, an increasing number of employers take workplace injuries seriously. They come in the form of car accidents, slips and falls, and other forms of accidents.
Aside from that, workplace injury is also costly, not only on the company but also on the affected employee. With that, every company and employee needs to employ measures in preventing workplace injuries.
To prevent these injuries from happening in the workplace, every company should implement safety management programs. These programs are designed to educate employers on the best safety practices in the workplace. They include instructions on handling hazards, emergency procedures, personal protective equipment (PPE), and other training that can help keep workers healthy and secure. Lastly, employees should also ensure that they keep their workplace clean and safe, and they always adhere to all safety protocols and policies during their work activities.