Injuries at work happen every day to many hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of people. Some of these injuries are extremely serious and can lead to disability or even death. Others are less serious, but can still have lasting damage that can affect everything from home life to working.
Trying, wherever possible, to avoid these injuries is something that every worker should bear in mind. Read on to discover what the most common workplace injuries are, and how to avoid them from happening to you.
Muscle strains can happen easily and are a common problem with many different types of work. They are particularly dangerous to those who regularly lift heavy objects, such as those working in removals or as a courier, although anyone can strain a muscle and it is not limited to this kind of heavy lifting work.
When your muscles are strained, it can mean limited mobility in your neck, back, shoulders, hips, arms, and legs. This can mean that you have to take time off work. In order to try to avoid these problems, make sure you know how to lift properly. If you don’t know, and you haven’t been offered training, speak to your employer about it.
Head injuries often occur due to falling objects at work. These are items that have not been stored away properly, for example, and then, after a knock or jolt, they are dislodged from a high shelf and come down on someone’s head. Head injuries can be extremely serious and lead to many different complications in the long term, but this kind of injury at work is something that can be avoided fairly easily.
Shelving should be fixed to the walls to avoid it tipping over, and free-standing shelving units should be removed. It might also be a good idea to use cages on the shelves to store heavier items; not only will this keep anyone underneath safe, but it will also ensure that they are put back where they came from, keeping things tidier (and reducing the risk of trips within the workplace).
In a warehouse environment, hard hats are also essential and can prevent many serious injuries when worn correctly.
Repetitive Strain Injury
Repetitive strain injury, or RSI as it is known, can cause many problems and is mainly associated with those who use keyboards all day. However, this is not the only cause, and it stems from any kind of repetitive joint movement. In the most severe cases, the joints will be so painful that they cannot be used at all, and mobility can become an issue.
Avoid this problem by taking regular breaks – changing the position of your hands, wrists, ankles, and other joints will help to avoid RSI. Using ergonomic equipment and furniture will also reduce the risk.
Cuts & Lacerations
Cuts and lacerations are also extremely common injuries at work. Some can be very minor, such as a papercut, and others can be much more serious. It will depend, to some extent, on the type of equipment that is used within the workplace – some will have more dangers than others.
Wearing the right protective clothing and ensuring that all training and guidelines are followed will help to mitigate the risk. It is vital that you are aware of your surroundings at all times so that, should something go wrong, you are able to react quickly.