According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported in 2017. This is a staggering number that causes distress to the workers, reducing their productivity, which in turn affects the organization. The jobs entailing the largest number of workplace injuries are service (like police and firefighters), transportation & shipping, manufacturing & production, maintenance & repairs, and construction.
Some of the most common workplace injuries are:
Slips & Trips
Slipping and tripping is one of the top causes of workplace injuries. A number of things can cause workers to slip and fall. Factors like oily surfaces, spills, loose flooring or carpets, clutter, uneven flooring, debris, uncovered cables, poor lighting are some common reasons.
Slips and falls can lead to minor cuts, sprains, and bruises or substantial dislocations, lacerations, broken bones and head injuries.
The management can take steps to minimize slipping and tripping injuries. Any clutter or debris should be promptly cleared, the floors should have the right degree of traction and spills should be immediately cleaned up. The employees should be responsible as well. They should wear proper footwear, pay attention to where they’re going and report any uncleared mess or damage that can be dangerous.
Regularly imparting safety regulations to the staff will encourage safe practices.
Workers strain themselves while carrying out strenuous activities such as pulling, lifting, carrying and pushing. The resulting overexertion negatively impacts productivity.
Workers should be given appropriate training and necessary equipment to carry out the activities involving heavier objects. Training in body mechanics can significantly reduce strain injuries and ensure safety while lifting, pushing, carrying etc. Also, regular and sufficient break time is important to prevent exertion.
Falling From Heights
Window cleaners, construction workers and other workers who work on elevated surfaces are vulnerable to falling from heights. This can lead to major injuries and even fatality.
Appropriate protective gear such as harness, strong ropes, hard hats is important to secure workers and prevent them from falling. Attentiveness from the workers is also essential.
Objects can be dropped or fall from shelves on the workers. Falling objects is a major cause for head injuries.
Employee diligence is required to prevent dropping objects. Workers should also be particular about wearing proper protection gear.
Injuries By Machines
Machine entanglements cause considerable workplace injuries. Clothing, limbs, fingers or hair can get stuck in machinery leading to harmful consequences such as severed limbs, fingers, blindness and more.
Workers should be highly attentive while working with machinery. The necessary protective gear should be worn when required and they should follow the specified plan and regulations. The management should have strict policies regarding the mandatory use of goggles, hard hats, safety shoes, gloves, and other required protective gear.
All these workplace injuries have consequences on both the workers and the organization. For the organization, there is a huge loss of productivity. In 2016, according to the National Safety Council, every 7 seconds a worker was injured which created a loss of 104,000,000 production days. Businesses also incur expenses for hiring and training new replacement workers and potential legal ramifications. An injury can also bring down the morale of the other workers that can again affect productivity.
On the other hand, for a worker, an injury can truly change the course of his/her life. It can lead to the inability to work, loss of wages, emotional distress and lifelong health issues and subsequent medical bills. If you are a victim of such an injury, you can pursue the legal path to help you with the compensation. Get in touch with McNicholas Law Firm to ensure that you receive the rightful compensation for your injuries and medical expenses.