According to the CDC, there were approximately 2.4 million occupational injuries in the last reported statistical year. With proper safety equipment and training, many of these accidents could have been avoided.
No one wants to have to juggle lawyers and Iowa workman’s compensation when they’re already under stress from injury or illness, so take note of the common causes of work-related injury and how to avoid them.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slick floors, obstructed walkways, missing or damaged railings, and improper use of ladders cause the accidents that account for a quarter of on-the-job injuries. Wear slip-resistant footwear and clean or mark off spills. Pick up equipment, tools, and debris from walkways and always store equipment properly and in a place where it will not obstruct movement. Close crates, drawers, cabinets, and closets when you are finished with them. Report damaged floors and safety rails to your manager or site supervisor.
Lifting and Carrying
Improperly lifting heavy objects can result in back and leg injuries. If something isn’t too heavy to lift by yourself, you should squat down and lift your body up with your legs instead of bending over. Get a coworker’s help with large, heavy, or bulky objects. Use straps and dollies when necessary.
Over-Exertion and Fatigue
When you work too much or too hard, you get tired and worn out. Your muscles ache and you are less alert. This can lead to incorrect operation of machinery, impaired judgment, and slower reaction time. Even if you sit at a desk or stand mostly stationary, improper posture can lead to muscle and joint stress and injury over time. Take regular breaks when you can, drink plenty of water, get enough to eat, and get at least eight hours of sleep a night so that you can go to work well-rested.
Being Struck With Equipment or Falling Objects
Improperly stacked boxes can topple over and fall on you, so be sure to stack containers with the heaviest ones on the bottom for a secure base with lighter items evenly on top. Stacks should not be taller than six feet. Avoid yourself or a coworker being hit by wayward forklifts or pallet jacks by making sure they are parked safely before leaving them unattended. Avoid throwing or tossing even small, lightweight items.
Accidents can still happen even if you do everything right, but taking simple safety measures goes a long way towards preventing as many injuries as possible.