How to Avoid Common Workplace Injuries
January 4, 2019
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 5,147 workers died from work-related injuries in 2017, while another 2.8 million employees suffered from common workplace injuries that were nonfatal and illnesses during the same year.
Three types of common workplace injuries accounted for more than 85% of all nonfatal workplace injuries, many of which could have been prevented by simple safety measures on the part of employers and workers.
- Overexertion and bodily reaction
- Contact with objects and/or equipment
- Slips, trips and falls
Overexertion and Bodily Reaction
This category of common workplace injuries includes non-impact injuries as well as those resulting from repetitive motion.
Common non-impact activities are lifting, pushing, turning, holding, carrying or throwing.
Repetitive motion injuries can be caused by activities that are less strenuous but more cyclical, such as certain assembly line work or using a computer for several hours a day.
Contact With Objects and Equipment
These common workplace injuries can occur if part of a worker’s body is squeezed, pinched, compressed or crushed in a piece of equipment or in a wire or rope. A worker can also be hurt by bumping into, or being pushed or thrown onto an object or piece of equipment.
A collapsing structure, equipment or a large amount of material can also cause serious injury or death.
Slips, Trips and Falls
Workers can be injured while tripping and falling onto the floor, a piece of equipment or furniture or onto another person. Falling to a lower level, such as a fall from a collapsing structure or from a ladder, roof, scaffolding or other structure, can result in serious injury or even death.
A person who tries to prevent a fall after slipping or tripping can also sustain major injuries.
The next three most common workplace injuries are:
- Transportation incidents
- Exposure to harmful substances or environmental hazards such as electricity, radiation, extreme temperatures or lack of oxygen
- Violence or other injuries by persons or animals; including assault (the 4th leading cause of work-related deaths), rape and sexual assault, intentional shooting, stabbing or beating
Tips for Avoiding Common Workplace Injuries
- Use safe lifting techniques such as this four-step approach: Keep your head up, keep the load close to your body, use a staggered stance and avoid twisting your body while lifting
- Know the hazards of your job or workplace
- Take breaks and move around throughout the day
- Get enough rest; tired employees are more prone to accidents
- Wear protective equipment to reduce the risk of injury; including earplugs, hard hats, safety goggles, gloves, full-face masks, and safety shoes
- Speak up about safety hazards or other conditions that can lead to workplace injuries
Expenses that arise “out of and in the course of employment” are generally covered under the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act, which most Michigan employers are required to carry; however, a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer is often needed to make sure the injured party receives the appropriate benefits.
“If you or a loved one is injured on the job, call us,” says Mark Bernstein of The Sam Bernstein Law Firm. “Our experienced lawyers know how to fight for the benefits you and your family deserve.”
Michigan workers compensation law is complicated, but finding the right lawyer is simple.
Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free, no-obligation consultation.