The Most Common Workplace Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Workplace injuries are a hassle for everyone: the employer, the insurance company, and of course, the employee. The truth is workplace injuries happen to the best of us. Sometimes, even the most highly trained professionals will find themselves hurt on the job. Believe it or not, however, the most common workplace injuries are ones that can be avoided.

Here are some guidelines to help you avoid the most common workplace injuries. 

What Are Most Common Workplace Injuries? 

a graphic showing the most common workplace injuries

In most cases, the possible kinds of injuries depend heavily on your field. The likelihood of a car accident in an office space is low. Also, it is good practice to take precautions regardless of your type of job. Although there are many types of workplace injuries, below are some examples of the most common. 

Slips and Falls

This is a common workplace injury that can happen anywhere. You can slip and fall in an office. You can slip and fall on a construction site. You can slip and fall in a grocery store. You can slip and fall just about anywhere. This category makes up a good bulk of workers’ compensation claims. Depending on where you work, many things can cause you to slip and fall. Here are some possibilities:

  • Wet floors or spills from anything to make the surface you walk on slippery. 
  • Weather: Rain can make the ground slippery, as can ice freezing over a surface.
  • Badly lit areas that may disguise potential hazards.
  • Clutter on the ground; bumps in rugs or mats on the floor; or anything that contributes to an uneven walking surface.

How to Avoid Slips and Falls at Work

Watch your step! It’s important to pay attention when you’re at work and that includes paying attention to where you walk. 

Good shoes also help with preventing a slip or fall. A good grip can keep you upright on potentially slippery surfaces. 

Also, it is important to maintain a clean work area, free of gravel or items that could trip yourself or your fellow employees. Make a habit of searching for potential spills before they happen.

It is vital that you wear proper fall protection gear when at work and use the correct safety procedures outlined in your training. 

For a bit of extra help, check out this Working in the Rain Safety Guide.

One of the Most Common Workplace Injuries Is Being Hit with an Object

Another common workplace injury is being hit by something. Whether the object that hits you is moving or you are, being struck by something is a harmful occurrence. 

If your profession involves heavy machinery, this could be a high-risk hazard for you. Industries that involve construction, factories, farms, or any place where a person has to operate machinery adds risk for collision. 

It is also necessary to mention that some injuries are caused by getting caught in machinery. Loose sleeves, improper footwear, long hair, and other attributes that go against recommended dress guidelines in a specific workplace can all cause terrible injuries from the machinery that employees must handle. 

How to Avoid Collisions at Work

Whenever heavy machinery is in the picture, take every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of yourself and everyone else on the job site. Employers should have protective guards in place to secure the location of the machinery.

It’s important to take into consideration the machinery safeguards when configuring the workplace layout to effectively reduce the amount of workplace injuries. This way, you can create low traffic areas on a site that limit employee interaction with dangerous machinery if they aren’t using it.

Employees should be wearing the correct protective clothing and stay aware of their surroundings and the machines they operate. Any dangerous parts of the machine must be secured and operators need extensive training before they begin to handle any heavy machinery to prevent incidents.

Job-Induced Injuries Caused by Exhaustion

Another of the most common workplace injuries is one that is often overlooked. These injuries are brought on by prolonged stress and exhaustion in the workplace. In certain industries, workers often complain about back pain or other physical soreness exacerbated by their profession.

This is common when employees use their bodies for work that is physically demanding and can cause increased loss of productivity over time. While this type of damage to one’s body could simply happen over the course of years in the same profession, there are certain practices that strengthen the impact and hasten the amount of damage, such as incorrect lifting or a lack of breaks when performing a repetitive action for prolonged periods of time. 

How to Avoid Other Workplace Injuries

Be kind to your body. There are proper lifting techniques that can ease the strain heavy lifting might place on your back or other highly impacted areas. If something is too heavy, always ask for help. Assistance can take some of the pressure and strain off of your body.

Another helpful way to avoid these common workplace injuries is to take breaks when feasible. It’s possible to get your work done without running your body or brain into the ground. If you feel close to your limit, give yourself a break and prevent harm in every way possible.  

Be Prepared with Canal HR

It isn’t all on the employer to form these safety practices, but the collaborative effort of the employers and their employees. Be prepared with Canal HR, a professional employer organization committed to safety compliance and assisting in all areas of workers’ compensation.
Contact us today to find out more about the resources we have available to help make safety a priority at your company.