Published On: Wed, Oct 18th, 2017

The Most Common Workplace Injuries And How To Avoid Them

It seems to be inevitable. Whatever health and safety legislation businesses are beholden to, whatever steps are taken by managers and employees alike, whatever training is rendered and whatever safeguards are put in place, workplace injury is a specter that looms over every sector, threatening to at best derail productivity and at worst result in tragedy. Not only do businesses jeopardize their relationship with their employees when it comes to workplace injuries but they make themselves vulnerable to an entire industry that has arisen around the litigation of workplace injuries.

Workplace Injuries

For today’s entrepreneurs, the price of constant vigilance, comprehensive training and a zero tolerance policy towards behavior that flouts health and safety regulation is paid gladly to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their employees. That said, however robust a company’s health and safety provision, however many self closing gates and warning signs are erected, some injuries consistently pop up in a variety of sectors with serious consequences for employees and employers. Let’s have a look at the most common causes of injury and how you can avoid them…

Lifting

It’s astonishing how many workplaces one can walk into and still see people lifting heavy objects from the small of their back. Often, it’s not a matter of inadequate training on the lifting procedure, it’s lax enforcement of it across the board. Even businesses that require their employees to lift and transport heavy objects on a daily basis have administrative staff or staff who are not required to lift heavy objects regularly. These people can either forget about the correct lifting procedure or assume that it’s not their responsibility to learn it. You can dodge this bullet by having accessible depictions of the correct lifting procedure in place for all staff not just those who tend to work manually.

Fatigue

While there’s no federal law stating that businesses should give their employees regular breaks (or any breaks for that matter), one must not underestimate the damage that can be done by workplace fatigue. Fatigue can lead to a lack of focus which tends to result in an inability to follow correct procedures therefore increasing the risk of injury. Therefore, you should allow your employees regular breaks (at least 45 mins per working day). While it may mean less time at action stations, it’s likely to increase overall productivity.

Dehydration

It’s worrying how many employers not only fail to remind their employers to stay hydrated but actively discourage them from taking time out to drink water as it will lead them to take more bathroom breaks. This mentality is totally false economy. Dehydration impedes neurotransmitters in the brain, leaving employees sluggish and unable to focus, once again increasing the risk of workplace injury.

Stress

The medical community has known about the adverse effects of stress for a long time but it’s unfortunate how many employers didn’t seem to get the memo. Stress can take a toll psychologically leading to erratic behavior that may result in poor decision making or negligence at work which could result in serious injury. Moreover, stress can have long term damaging effects on the body, increasing the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.