Employee safety is an essential aspect of any organization. A safe work environment has many benefits, including increased productivity. However, accidents, though unfortunate, are unavoidable. Here are the most common causes of workplace injuries.
Trips, Slips, and Falls
Many injuries are sustained from trips, slips, and falls. They are a leading cause of injuries sustained at the workplace. Slippery, poorly waxed, and wet floors can cause someone to slip and fall.
Injuries sustained from such falls range from mere scratches to severe injuries, such as broken bones. Flooring made of tile, terrazzo, and marble is smooth and dangerous when wet.
Improper footwear is also hazardous. A high-heeled shoe may not be an ideal everyday shoe for the workplace. A worker can trip and fall when wearing such shoes.
Other common causes of slips and falls include:
- Poor lighting in the office
- Carelessly placed cables
- Staircases and steps
- Changes in levels caused by uneven floor surfaces
Struck by Objects and Equipment
An employee can get hurt at work when he or she gets struck by objects or equipment. Moving and falling objects can cause severe injuries, sometimes fatal. A construction worker, for example, is at risk of getting struck by a falling stone.
An employee can also run into poorly placed equipment. He or she could collide with another person or run into a low-hanging beam.
Machines need to be handled with caution since ignoring safety protocols may lead to injuries. Workers who operate machinery run the risk of getting crushed or cut by machine parts. There is an increase in cases of machine operators having their body parts maimed by machines.
Activities that involve heavy lifting are the leading causes of back injuries and joint pains. Such activities put a strain on the body resulting in muscle injuries.
Physical activities involving pushing, carrying, and holding may seem harmless at first. However, the excess force used to carry out these activities may result in non-impact injuries such as muscle pulls.
Repetitive micro-tasks are also dangerous since they result in long-term injuries. It mainly affects hands-on workers who have to do the same thing over and over again. To illustrate, an office typist who spends his or her days typing long articles and reports is likely to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Violence In The Workplace
Sometimes, an employee can find himself or herself in a situation that may escalate into violence. An example of such a scenario is when a security guard confronts someone caught shoplifting. The shoplifter may react violently and hit the guard.
Disagreements between workers are also common, and may occasionally result in violent fights.
A dirty and disorganized work environment is a potential hazard. Loose objects lying around can easily cause workers to trip and fall. Jagged metals and sharp tools that have not been appropriately stored pose laceration hazards.
In conclusion, many common injuries sustained in the workplace are avoidable when proper caution is used. Sticking to a strict safety protocol is one way of doing this.