We spend roughly a third of our life at work which means that no matter your occupation, if you get an injury, it will likely occur on the clock. When you think of it this way, it’s easy to see why workplace safety matters for all industries, not just those known for being dangerous.
Fortunately, many of these injuries can be prevented so we compiled a list of the most common injuries and tips for how to prevent them.
Falls are one of the most common types of injury in any workplace and they can happen anywhere, from construction sites to offices. The good news is that with some precaution you can prevent many falls from happening.
Some injury-prevention tips for falls include:
- Always be aware of your surroundings: It’s easy to go on autopilot while in familiar surroundings, but it’s important to not be complacent. Be on the lookout for dangerous footings, tripping hazards and items that may compromise your balance.
- Dress safely for the environment: Wear the correct protective gear for the situation you are in. This includes reading the instructions for the right way to wear a hard-hat and wearing effective non-slip shoes. Also make sure pants and footwear fits well otherwise it may become a tripping hazard.
- Be extra cautious with ladders: Never lean ladders on unstable structures and never place ladders on uneven surfaces. Read the instructions on your ladder and use only as instructed. Make sure ladders are also in good condition before using them.
Although cut injuries can happen anywhere, they’re most common in food service and construction. Even if working with sharp objects is an unavoidable part of your work, you can still prevent injuries by exercising extra caution.
Here are a few tactics you can use to avoid this type of injury:
- Pay attention to technique: Never use a knife or sharp item if it is pointed toward yourself, always face it away and clear the area in front of you. If you’re using a knife or similar sharp object, make sure you’re using it against a flat, solid surface. If you’re unsure how to effectively use any item, stop and request training.
- Do not rush: No matter how busy you may be, it’s important that you never rush any work that involves sharp objects. Slow and steady movements with a knife will ensure more controlled use of the blade and minimizes the chances of accidents.
- Maintain solid control of sharp items: Make sure you can physically control sharp items at all times. For example, if your hands are sweaty or dirty it is easier to lose control of a knife, creating a cutting hazard. Ill-fitting gloves, overly-long sleeves and loose shirts can all prevent you from having adequate control over equipment.
Repetitive strain injuries, or RSI, are a common injury that is caused by repetitive movements. This type of strain injures muscles, tendons, and nerves and commonly affects wrists, shoulders, elbows. RSI can lead to long-term problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome, herniated discs, and tendinitis.
Some ways of preventing an RSI include:
- Take breaks: Interrupting cycles of repetitive movements and giving your body a moment to recover can help prevent injury in the long term. Don’t wait for pain to tell you a break is needed, be proactive.
- Practice good form: Being aware of your posture while performing tasks such as lifting, moving, and typing. Poor form and non-ergonomic movements can leave you with pain and in time, a repetitive strain injury.
- Listen to your body: Pain is a signal to stop, so never try to simply “push through the pain.” If something is uncomfortable or causing pain, stop what you’re doing and examine the cause.
Contact an experienced workplace injury lawyer
These tips can help you prevent accidents, but accidents can still happen no matter how proactive and alert you are. So, if you find yourself hurt on the job, it’s important to protect yourself and your ability to fully recover. Oftentimes this requires the help of a skilled workers’ compensation attorney. If you or someone you love has been hurt on the job, we’re here to help. Just call (417) 888-0000 to schedule a free consultation