Six most common contributors to workplace injuries and tips on how to stay safe while on the job
Many of us spend the majority of our time at work, and we all want to stay safe and healthy while we are there. There are more than 2 million reported workplace injuries and close to 5,000 work-related deaths each year in the United States. Stay safe and injury-free at work by being aware of the common types of accidents and by taking precautions to prevent them.
- Keep your work area clutter-free.
By keeping your workspace neat and tidy, you can reduce your chance of injury. Clutter can cause you to trip or fall, and a mess, such as a spill, can increase your risk of slipping. Before beginning your day, take a look around your work area and tidy up any messes.
- Use proper lifting techniques.
Each year, approximately 200,000 back injuries are reported. You can easily injure your back if you aren’t using proper lifting techniques. If your job requires any heavy lifting, it is important to always use proper form. Squat down in front of the object and firmly grasp it. Keep your back straight and plant your feet and heels into the ground while lifting straight up; allow your legs to push you up into a standing position. If you primarily use your arms to lift or round your back while lifting, you will cause unnecessary stress on muscles in the shoulders, neck and back, which can lead to strains and pulled muscles or more serious injuries.
- Always use the proper protective equipment.
Safety equipment such as steel-toed or non-slip shoes, safety glasses, harnesses, gloves and hard hats were all created to keep workers safe. You should always wear these items if your work requires them, as they will help to prevent any serious injury. It’s also important to regularly inspect the condition of any protective equipment. Scratched safety glasses can impair vision and pose a threat for injury, and worn-out gloves or shoes will not provide the proper level of protection you need.
- Don’t engage in horseplay.
This tip should speak for itself. Fooling around while at work can be dangerous. Accidents happen when we are not paying attention, so always be aware of what is going on around you while you are working. Refrain from running, and keep all silliness, pranks and games for break time or after work.
- Use equipment properly.
You should be sure to use work equipment correctly and only for its intended purpose. Avoid using something inappropriately or operating equipment that you have not been properly trained on. Ask for help from a manager if you have any questions to avoid hurting yourself or others.
- Avoid repetitive strain injuries.
Repetitive strain injuries are usually less serious, but quite common. Repeating the same movement over and over can cause disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger and tennis elbow, just to name a few. In effort to prevent long-term disability, use good posture, have an ergonomic workstation, stretch before work and throughout the day, and seek immediate medical attention if you suspect a repetitive strain injury.
Job safety is important. It is crucial to treat any work-related injury quickly and effectively. A walk-in clinic has a team of occupational health nurses and board-certified doctors who specialize in on-the-job injuries. They will have you feeling back to normal right away so you can get back to work.
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