Common Work Injuries

by AZ Pain Doctors, on Apr 14, 2021 5:37:20 PM

Work injuries are on the rise. In 2019, nearly three percent of American workers suffered from an injury at work. That totals 2.8 million Americans. 

Office managers are taking steps to promote workplace safety, like running annual seminars on safety protocols. But they're not working.

One reason is that they are not looking at common work injuries. Once you know what they are, you can then look at practical steps to reduce workplace accidents. 

Start right here. Here is your quick guide to common work injuries and prevention strategies. 

Vehicle Accidents

Millions of Americans drive as a part of their jobs. Even a fender bender can lead to serious injuries. 

One of the most common injuries is whiplash. The rapid movement of the head and neck can tear muscles and tendons. A person can experience severe neck pain that spreads down into their arms. 

Many people suffer from bruises and cuts. They may strike something in their vehicle, opening up their skin. 

More serious injuries include traumatic brain injuries. These are not as common as whiplash, but a minor car accident can cause them. 

If your business is dependent on driving, go over driving safety in regular meetings. Mandate that all employees wear seatbelts. 

Remove all distractions from the interior of vehicles. This includes cell phones and laptop computers.

If you need to communicate with a driver, wait until they have pulled over. Give them a short phone call that they can take on a hands-free device. 

More than 100,000 accidents occur every year from drivers falling asleep behind the wheel. Tell your drivers to pull over and take a nap if they feel tired. Require them to take breaks after several hours on the road. 

If you have moving vehicles within your workplace, practice the same discretion you would use for cars. A forklift or golf cart can cause the serious injuries that a truck can. Drive slowly with seatbelts and helmets on. 

Falls

Some people slip but catch themselves from hitting the floor. Others fall onto the ground. Others fall through a surface or off a ladder onto a lower level. 

Any one of these falls can cause injuries. Like in a car accident, a slip can cause whiplash. A person's head can snap forward, pulling their neck muscles. 

Falling onto a hard floor can break bones and create a traumatic brain injury. Internal blood vessels may rupture, causing bleeding into an organ or cavity. A person can also suffer a serious bruise or cut. 

Falls from ten or more feet can fracture the spine. Most falls from thirty or more feet are fatal. 

Provide hand railings and grips against most surfaces in your office space. Clean up any spills with vacuums and towels. 

All employees should wear shoes with firm grips. You can buy your employees work boots if your floors are very uneven. 

Uneven flooring and hazards should receive signage. These signs should be more than ten feet away from the hazards themselves. They should include a visual displaying the hazard and text describing it. 

When an employee is climbing up a ladder, another employee should hold onto it. They can wear a harness for added support. 

Overexertion

Pulling, pushing, and carrying objects can produce muscle strains. A person can damage their back from failing to hold objects from the bottom. 

They could also slip and drop an object on themselves. The heavy load can cause bruising, bone damage, or internal bleeding. 

Whenever possible, employees should use tools to move objects. Handcarts and pullies will prevent an employee from straining themselves. 

Employees should work in groups when moving objects. Even if one person is using a cart, another person should direct them. A moving cart can harm someone if it strikes them. 

Before moving an object, an employee should stretch. Many people stretch only their arms, but they should also stretch their back and hips. 

When they lift an object, they should crouch down. Then they should rise using their hips. They should hold an object with both hands from the bottom, using any handles or grips on it. 

Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive motion injuries are similar to overexertion. But they involve fine motor skills. 

A person working a desk job can hurt themselves typing on a computer or writing things on a notepad. They can pinch the nerves in their arms, causing carpal tunnel syndrome. 

A person can strain their eyes looking at a computer screen for too long. They can also hurt their neck and back through bad posture. 

Like with overexertion, stretches can help. Employees should get up and stretch their arms and head every hour or so.

They should give their eyes a break after a long period of staring at electronics. They can read a book or look away at a far corner of the room for twenty seconds.

Employees should adjust their chairs and desks, so they practice good posture. Their feet should rest firmly on the floor. Their shoulders and hips should be level and parallel to each other, with their skulls perched on top of their spines. 

They should not have to bend down to reach their desk. But they should be able to rest their arms against it. Each employee should be allowed to adjust their desk until it is right. 

The Most Common Work Injuries

Work injuries are devastating. But you can diminish the pain if you know the most common ones. 

Automobile accidents and falls cause whiplash and traumatic brain injuries. Mandate careful driving and walking practices. Ask your employees to wear seatbelts and provide handrails. 

Overexertion can tear muscles and cause bruising. Team employees up when they move objects. Prevent repetitive motion injuries by stretching and adjusting your employees' posture. 

Get treatment if you suffer from an injury. AZ Pain Doctors is Arizona's leading clinic for office injuries. Schedule an appointment today.

Topics:work injuries

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