Want to protect you and your employees against workplace injuries?
Here are several of the most common workplace injuries and how you can guard against them.
Slips, trips and falls
Slips, trips and falls are by far the most common source of injury in the workplace. This could include slipping on wet flooring, tripping over a cable or falling downstairs. By considering dangers around your feet, you may be able to guard against them.
For instance, you can often prevent injuries on wet floors by using wet floor signs to warn people (this can also warn customers and members of the public). You can also use rubber matting in front of doors to prevent people dragging in water from outdoors, which could serve as a slip hazard. As for cables, find ways of trailing these around rooms where they’re unlikely to get in anyone’s way. Meanwhile, when using ladders or carrying heavy items downstairs, always make sure that a second person is there to secure the ladder or help lift the item down the staircase to minimise falls.
To prevent more serious falls as on construction sites, make sure scaffolding is secure and that there are guard rails in place. A harness could also be essential for jobs that involve climbing.
Repetitive strain injury
A repetitive strain injury or (RSI) can occur after a long period of repeating the same action over and over again. This can lead to pain and stiffness in joints. Common causes of an RSI could include typing on a computer keyboard, using power tools or using a supermarket checkout scanner.
You can sometimes fend off RSIs by teaching your employees ergonomic methods of doing things. For instance, with an office keyboard, this could include having elbows level with fingers while typing and making sure that the keyboard is positioned straight in front of you and not off to an angle. You may also be able to invest in new equipment to reduce the risk of RSIs – when it comes to power tools for instance, low-vibrating tools can reduce the strain on joints and muscles.
Muscle strains can happen at work for a variety of reasons. One common way in which people often get muscles strains at work is by using incorrect technique when lifting heavy boxes and equipment. This can cause people to pull muscles in their back, which can sometimes even lead to chronic back pain.
As simple as it may seem, make sure to teach your employees how to correctly lift heavy items during training. This involves bending at the legs so that your back is always straight.
Trauma from falling objects
In some trades, falling items can be a hazard to look out for. This could include falling debris or dropped tools on a construction site or even a falling branch when cutting down a tree.
When there is any risk of falling items, always make sure that you and your employees wear a hard hat. On top of preventing trauma from falling objects, hard hats can also prevent people from knocking their head when walking under low ceilings or scaffolding. Another good practice meanwhile is to use canopies and debris nets to catch falling items.
Driving accident injuries
If you or your employees use vehicles as part of your job, there could also be a risk of driving accident injuries. Collisions and crashes are the most common example of this and maybe entirely the fault of a third party, making these injuries hard to prevent.
That said, there may still be ways of minimizing these type of injuries. When hiring drivers to work for your company, run a background check so that you’re only hiring drivers with a good track record (a history of accidents or driving penalties could mean that they’re a higher risk). Also, try to choose vehicles with a good safety rating – older vehicles may not have the same level of safety, making an injury during an accident more likely. Monitoring drivers with dash cams and other equipment could also prevent them from driving recklessly.