Workplace accidents are, unfortunately, a bitter reality, which can’t be denied. Hundreds and thousands of accidents occur in work settings annually, resulting in severe injuries and may sometimes even prove to be deadly.
Accidents that lead to severe injuries or result in death are strictly treated by the court of law, penalizing business owners for their negligence and failure to implement effective safety procedures. This can further lead to bad market rapport, which is something that business owners do not want.
In order to avoid penalties and keep your market reputation safe, it is important that you provide a safe work environment for your employees. To achieve this, you can take advantage of our specialized injury prevention programs. At GSC On-Site Services, our team can help you assess and address workplace safety issues, thereby making the work environment safe for all. Our goal is to provide you with the best safety procedures and practices to minimize the risk of workplace injuries.
Speaking of which, here are some of the most common workplace injuries that employers should know of and take adequate measures to avert the risk.
Strains, Sprains and Tears
According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), sprains, tears and strains are by far the most common type of workplace injuries in terms of the frequency of workers’ compensation claims and their severity. Study shows that it affects over 34,000 workers annually.
In 2018, there were 30.7 cases per 10,000 full-time workers reported for sprains, strains and tears in the private industry, while the private retail trade sector witnessed 38.4 cases.
A sprain is a ligament injury in which it gets stretched and torn, while a strain is the same kind of injury that affects a muscle or tendon. Different factors at work can lead to muscle strains and ligament sprain. These include but are not limited to:
- Excessive force
- Uncomfortable posture while sitting for long hours
- Lifting heavy weights
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Also a type of Musculoskeletal Disorder, this injury occurs due to repetitive motions at work affecting the wrists, hands, elbows, neck, shoulders and forearms. Some common forms of repetitive stress injuries are:
- Rotator cuff tendonitis
- Tennis elbow
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
MSD injuries may cost employers over seven billion US dollars and result in more than 100 million lost workdays.
Repetitive stress injuries occur due to activities that require repetition, such as typing, swiping items at the checkout desk of a supermarket, grasping tools or working on the assembly line. Repetitive motions in one part of the body can further affect the muscles located in another part.
TBI (Traumatic Brain Injuries)
Traumatic brain injuries may result from a slip and fall accident, leading to mild or serious concussions. It is a serious injury to the brain as it can impair the sensory and cognitive functions of the brain. As a result, TBI can negatively affect the quality of life of the victim. In addition to this, the recovery period is also long and slow. In some cases, recovery can be uncertain.
Did you know that in 2016, nearly 48,060 workers were injured in slip, trip and fall accidents. Furthermore, these accidents account for nearly 20 percent of all workplace injuries, where 1 in 6 of the injured workers in such accidents requires at least 11 days away from work. Although a slip and fall accident can occur anywhere, workers most at risk include:
- Construction workers
- Home contractors
- Maintenance workers
- Restaurant workers
Cuts and Lacerations
Approximately 92,840 suffered cuts and lacerations in 2018 in the private industry. This figure increased from 89,180 injuries, which was recorded in 2017. The rise in the number of cases indicates the high prevalence of this injury.
This injury is common among employees working in corporate offices and factories. Tools and machinery like a paper trimmer and power saw are capable of inflicting cuts and lacerations. The gravity of and damage from the cuts depends on the type of tool that causes the injury.
Employees who work around fire or with flammable items are exposed to the risk of burn injuries. These may include:
- Thermal burns are caused by open flames, liquids, explosions and hot objects.
- Chemical burns are caused when the employee comes in contact with alkaline, acidic, caustic or corrosive material.
- Electric burns are caused by high voltage shocks.
Research studies show that a total of nearly 15,670 burn injury cases are reported annually with an incident rate of 1.4/10,000 full-time employees.
These are commonly caused by falls, stepping on sharp objects like nails or coming in contact with broken glass. Puncture wounds can affect the skin’s surface, but if they are deep, they can affect the ligaments, bones, muscles and tendons.
A total of nearly 95,860 cases of contusions are reported every year in the workplace, including both private industry and retail trade. These injuries can result in 4 to 6 days of missed work. A contusion or a bruise occurs when the blood vessels under the skin get damaged due to excessive bleeding underneath the skin.
This injury occurs when a worker comes in contact with heavy objects that falls on them or they collide with the object. It can break their tiny blood vessels, which is also called capillaries, thereby causing severe bleeding in the area of the injury. As the bleeding is under the skin, the area becomes swollen and reddish blue. The soft tissue and bones can also bruise.
Remember that the number of days off from work due to the injuries identified above is just average. In severe cases of such injuries, the recovery time can be more than stated, thereby resulting in considerable productivity loss.
Therefore, the best way to minimize the risk of these common workplace injuries is to contact our team of experienced injury prevention specialists. We will assess your workplace and evaluate the existing safety measures. We will identify all the safety loopholes for high risk of injuries and provide you with the best suggestions on how to minimize the risk and ensure top-notch workplace safety.