No one walks into work one day expecting to get injured. Thankfully, most employers set aside a significant portion of their operating budget to ensure that their employees are safe. Employers do this through the use of training materials, such as manuals and seminars, as well as by ensuring that their facilities are up to code.
Unfortunately, however, accidents can still occur. In 2016, statistics show that nearly 3 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses occurred in the workplace. Just over 892,000 of these were occupational injuries and illnesses that required that the employee take time off of work — an average of 8 days off, in fact.
Below is a look at some of the most common injuries that workers experience while at work, the factors that typically cause these injuries, and what you can do to prevent them.
Sprains, Strains, and Tears From Overexertion and Bodily Reaction
Roughly 400,000 of the workplace injuries which occur each year are sprains, strains, and tears. On average, these types of injuries cause employees to lose 10 days of work. Generally, overexertion or bodily reaction is the cause of these injuries.
Overexertion injuries occur when you consistently lift, pull, push, carry, hold, or throw items while at work. These injuries are common in the factory and construction industries, as well as in other physical labor jobs where you may push certain muscles too hard or repeatedly perform the same task.
Bodily reaction injuries occur when you try to react to something, such as a fall. For example, say that you slip on a wet floor. Your automatic reaction is to try to regain your balance so that you don’t fall and injure yourself. However, in the process, you sprain your ankle. This would be considered a bodily reaction injury.
You can prevent both overexertion and bodily reaction injuries. Stretch before shifts, engage in proper ergonomics, and ensure that your work environment is uncluttered and clean. In this way, you can help prevent injuries which result in sprains, strains, and tears that are caused by overexertion and bodily reaction.
Fractures From Slips, Trips, and Falls
Just over 95,000 workplace injuries are fractures, and these fractures are often the result of slips, trips, and falls. On average, these types of injuries cause employees to miss 32 days of work.
More often than not, slips, trips, and falls in the workplace are a result of wet floors. Numerous factors can play a role in wet floors, including snowy walkways and freshly mopped floors, and injuries can happen in any type of business and to a variety of employees, including store clerks, groundskeepers, waiters, and security workers.
Again, these types of injuries are completely preventable. The number one way that you can avoid fractures as a result of slips, trips, and falls is to always pay attention to your surroundings. You can also clean up spills immediately and maintain a clutter-free work area at all times. In addition, in certain environments, you should wear anti-slip footwear to reduce the risk of falls.
If you have suffered an injury while on the job and you aren't sure how to proceed, seek professional guidance from a workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible. Workers' compensation insurance is a specific type of insurance that is designed to help employees after an injury has occurred on the job, and a workers’ compensation attorney can make sure that you receive the settlement you deserve.
Contact the professionals at O'Grady & O'Neil PC in Saginaw, MI, to learn more about workplace injuries and what you can do to receive compensation if you have been injured.