Injuries that occur in the workplace vary from the minor unintentional ones to the fatal types. Some of them may strike without the person being aware of it until he or she feels unbearable pain. This often results in employees being absent or taking a leave for a few days.

As of 2013, the top five places of work with the highest incidence rates of non-fatal occupational injury and illnesses include nursing and home care facilities at 13.6 percent followed by pet and pet supplies stores, police protection, fire protection and veterinary services. Skiing facilities, truss manufacturing, iron foundries, recreational camps and travel trailer and camper manufacturing are in the top 10 list based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Common Injuries in the Workplace

Of the body parts, the back often bears the brunt of all work-related activities. This is due to overexertion such as in heavy lifting, prolonged static posture such as sitting for hours and frequent stretching thereby affecting the musculo-skeletal system.

Slips and falls are also among the common injuries at work. They are caused by stepping on wet and slippery floors and objects on the floor. Loose carpeting and improper lighting can also lead to trips, slips and falls.

Another way an employee can injure himself or herself is through repetitive motion. A classic example of this is using the keyboard for hours in a fixed position. This can cause the common carpal tunnel syndrome which affects the nerves in the wrist getting it trapped in between swollen tendons.

Handling machines and equipment is as risky and dangerous with the potential to cause injuries. Common causes include wearing loose clothing as well as jewelry on the fingers. Letting one’s hair down is another potential hazard.

Motor vehicle accidents are common as well for people required to be on the road as part of their job. Affected by this are drivers who transport freight and people and employees driving company or personal vehicles. Pedestrian workers are included as well.

How to Prevent Them

When it concerns injuries, prevention is always better than cure. Cliche it may be but it holds true for everyone in the workplace.

Injuries are preventable if only people are attentive, careful with their movements and learn from their past experiences.

Work-related injuries can range from the minor to the more serious and even fatal ones. Minor ones not often reported are bruises, bumping into the edge of a desk or chair, cuts from using staplers or scissors while the major ones include falls and vehicle accidents among many others.

Those whose work involves being on their desks most of the day should take a break every 20 minutes so they can change positions. This breaktime should be spent standing, walking a bit and resting the eyes, particularly for people who stare at computers due to their work.

It’s also highly recommended to use an ergonomic chair as well as learn the right way to sit and do other physical work to avoid straining the back, neck and hands. Maintaining fitness and flexibility is as vital.

Employees should also be alert and organized in their areas of work to avoid slips, trips and falls. Signages should be used to inform people of slippery floors or uneven walkways.

Construction workers need to be aware of the safety precautions in their place of work. Wearing safety gear and other protective equipment is a must in risky areas.

Employers are also urged to hold regular meetings to discuss health and safety measures or inform staff of updates if there are changes in the workplace or new safety equipment will be installed.