Protect Yourself From These 7 Most Common Workplace Injuries

 workplace saftey

Protect Yourself From Workplace Injuries

Your body helps you interact with the environment, complete tasks, and achieve your workplace goals, but it is also your home. There are various ways to come into contact with dangerous substances, environments, or situations. Learn how to protect against the most common workplace injuries so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor for years to come.

The Common Causes of Injury

Let’s face it: Accidents can happen. However, workplace injury statistics point to faulty protective equipment, poor training, and human error as common causes.

These causes interact with each other, too. For example, a worker who does not practice proper eye protection or care puts themselves and others at risk.

Many human error injuries can be linked to low motivation or stress. You make thousands of micro-decisions every day, and if you are not fully aware, well-rested, or committed to the task at hand, there may be little mistakes here and there. Eliminating workplace stress and poor mental health routines is key to targeting injuries.

Workplace injuries happen worldwide, but there are straightforward ways to prevent errors and heed safety guidelines more thoughtfully.

1. Muscle and Body Overexertion

Warehouse staff, delivery drivers, and technicians repeatedly lift and carry materials. While it can feel like an all-day fitness routine, these continuous movements can lead to muscle strains and overexertion. Even the most minor injuries can result in debilitating pain without frequent breaks and stretching.

Doing these things every day puts you in danger of overexertion:

  • Taking limited breaks
  • Repeatedly lifting, pushing, or carrying
  • Using improper moving techniques

Jumpstart your new health-focused routine by stretching and resting regularly. Additionally, double-check lifting techniques with your company’s training program to ensure you are moving correctly.

Seek medical care if you’re constantly sore or in prolonged pain.

2. Slips and Falls

Even jobs that mainly require sitting at a desk offer the potential to slip and fall. Icy or wet surfaces, unguarded drops or holes, spaces with poor lighting, and cluttered surfaces can be hazardous. If you work in construction sites or warehouses, there may be ladders, roofs, or high buildings to cross and climb.

Some falls may only cause surface-level contusions or abrasions, but a critical tumble could result in internal bleeding and broken bones.

Be aware and alert at your workplace, especially in a higher-risk environment like construction sites and high-altitude areas. Every day, you should:

  • Keep eyes clear and scan walking surfaces.
  • Commit to proper housekeeping and eliminate clutter.
  • Wear the right footwear for your environment

Know the warning signs and next steps if you or a co-worker does fall. It is always better to alert medical professionals than attempt to move or treat an injured person yourself.

3. Weather and Temperature Exposure

Does your workplace require long stints in the blazing sun or blistering cold? You should build up your protection against the elements.

Unfortunately, one-third of all heat-related deaths occurred to construction workers working all day in the hot sun. Heat cramps, exhaustion, and strokes can be debilitating and even fatal in extreme cases. During colder times of the year, workers face trench foot or frostbite that cause skin tissue to die.

Be sure you wear the appropriate protective gear for the time of year and take frequent breaks from the elements. Don’t be afraid to seek employer support as you and your team navigate weather conditions year-round.

4. Stikes by Objects or Machinery

People can be struck by objects and injured when working with machinery, office equipment, or technical gear. In extreme cases, injuries may include bone breaks, blindness, or severed limbs due to:

  • Poorly guarded and maintained machinery
  • Imperfect housekeeping and tool storage
  • Cluttered surfaces
  • Unawareness of workers

Is there a precarious stack of boxes stored above your desk? What about a pile of wires clumped in a hallway? Have you followed maintenance procedures on your machine? Complete a clean sweep of your workspace to eliminate any potential hazards. No matter the size or weight of the striking object, you don’t want an injury that could have been avoided.

5. Toxic or Contagious Exposures

Toxic substances can be found in laboratories and maintenance workspaces, and contagious diseases like COVID-19 remain an issue. Some common exposure risks include:

  • Radiation
  • Noise
  • Toxic gaseous substances
  • Toxic and corrosive substances
  • Electricity
  • Contagious diseases

Familiarize yourself with the proper equipment you need to stay safe. Have you been neglecting wearing goggles as of late? Is there a tiny rip in your gloves you’ve forgotten to repair? Taking stock of potential risks is incredibly important, as well as reinforcing your knowledge of chemical data sheets and safety procedures.

Chemical substances
Chemical substances can cause fire 

6. Fires and Burns

Chemical substances often cause fire and explosions, but flames can erupt anywhere, even in the office microwave. A fire can damage body tissue and the integrity of the respiratory system depending on the intensity or proximity of the blaze.

Identify substances or equipment that may be flammable or explosive. Additionally, take a practice run of the emergency exit routes to ensure you know the way to safety during a fire.

7. Vehicle Crashes

Collisions can occur in any type of vehicle, including trucks, lifters, loaders, and various construction equipment. If your workplace features some form of conveyance, stay alert when traversing driving lanes or walkways.

Drivers and operators should always wear seat belts and secure their loads tightly to prevent objects from falling off and striking co-workers.

Finally, be sure you are alert and aware when driving. Everything from alcoholic substances to fatigue can decrease reaction time and decision-making. You have a responsibility to your team to be as careful as possible when operating machinery.

Take Care of Yourself

Talking about safety can be challenging. No one wants to imagine horrible scenarios or injuries. However, taking the time to reinforce your knowledge of procedures and wearing the proper protective equipment goes a long way in avoiding these common workplace injuries.

If you feel unsafe or unable to avoid dangers in the workplace, report your situation to the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA). In some cases, protection needs to be addressed by a higher authority.

Your body is your vehicle to carry you through the day, but as your home, treating it with the utmost care and respect is vital. Everyone wants to feel safe and healthy, so take precautions every workday and prioritize your safety.

Author: Beth Rush is the content manager and Managing Editor at Body+Mind. She is a well-respected writer in the personal wellness space and shares knowledge on various topics related to nutrition, fitness, holistic health, mental health, and disease prevention. In her spare time, Beth enjoys going for runs and trying out new fitness trends.

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