Thousands of employees are injured every year on the job. Unfortunately, not every injury can be prevented. However, an awareness of where and when workplace injuries are most likely to occur can go a long way toward helping to reduce the number of these injuries.
What follows are the five most common workplace injuries and some simple steps to help prevent them from happening:
- Overexertion injuries occur from excessive lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, or similar tasks. Such injuries can be avoided by providing employees instruction on the proper way to lift and handle heavy items. Employees also should be encouraged to ask for help when necessary.
- Falls on the same level can be avoided by making sure that all floors are dry and free of clutter. Anti-slip floors should be installed or anti-slip shoes should be required for every worker.
- Bodily reaction injuries occur when an employee slips or trips without falling. They also can occur while bending, climbing, reaching, or even just standing or sitting. To reduce such injuries, make sure that workspaces are free of clutter and that no employee is required to stay in an awkward position for any length of time.
- Falls to a lower level can be avoided by making sure that ladders and scaffolding are properly secured and in good repair.
- Being struck by an object can be prevented by requiring that employees always wear protective gear and are trained on how to properly use every piece of equipment they operate.
While many of these prevention measures seem to be common sense, it is surprising how many businesses fail to take such measures. This is troubling not only because it puts the safety of workers at risk, but it also costs thousands of dollars in workers compensation costs. What’s more, such injuries leave companies at risk for lawsuits filed by injured workers.
Studies have found that almost 75 percent of the total costs of disabling workplace injuries are the result of the injuries listed above. In 2010, overexertion injuries resulted in $13.61 billion in workers compensation costs; falls on the same level totaled $8.61 billion; bodily reaction injuries added up to $5.78 billion; falls to a lower level cost $5.12 billion; and being struck by an object added up to $4.10 billion.
To keep your employees and workplace safe, as well as to save money, bringing in a safety services consulting company is often the best way to go. Such a company will be able to assess your workplace safety risks and provide training for you and your employees on how to avoid workplace injuries and accidents.