There are approximately 2.7 million workplace injuries in the United States every year. These don’t just threaten employees’ health; and they also impact companies’ bottom lines. That’s why understanding the risk of workplace injuries and knowing how to avoid them is so important.
This article should help you get started, and it covers 5 of the most common workplace injuries and offers practical strategies for preventing them. So without further delay, let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
Top 5 Common Workplace Injuries
1. Slips, Trips, and Falls
Research from the U.S. government shows that slips, trips, and falls occur at 31.4 per 10,000 full-time workers. That makes them one of the most common workplace injuries by quite a good margin.
Slip and fall prevention can be challenging because there are so many different reasons why these incidents can occur. Tactics like marking off spills and cleaning them up immediately can help, but your strategy may also need to include tactics for reducing the risks of falls in the first place.
2. Cuts and Lacerations
Cuts and lacerations are widespread in some workplaces as well. Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) can help employees avoid these.
It’s one of the reasons why experts recommend that workers in specific industries always wear eye protection, gloves, and long sleeves. Employing proper practices for using tools that can cause cuts and lacerations is also essential.
3. Toxic Fumes and Chemicals
Many workplaces are free of toxic fumes and chemicals. But for workers at those that aren’t, the risk of interacting with poisonous fumes and chemicals is an ever-present risk.
Hazardous chemicals are common in industrial operations. To keep your employees safe from them, you need to mark all containers and areas where they are held. Encouraging the usage of PPE, such as safety goggles, can also help to reduce the risk of your employees inadvertently interacting with toxic materials.
4. Machinery-Related Incidents
Modern machinery is massive, potent, and dangerous, especially if proper safety precautions aren’t taken. If you want to reduce the risk of an employee experiencing a machinery injury, then here are some steps you can take:
- Always place clear warning signs near dangerous machinery
- Train heavy machine operators well and retrain them consistently
- Ensure that your team always wears protective clothing
- Purchase machinery with built-in safety features
5. Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs)
When most people think about workplace injuries, they imagine disastrous machinery accidents or slips and falls. But sometimes, the most severe workplace injuries don’t happen all at once but over a long period.
Repetitive stress injuries, or RSIs, are a category of workplace injury involving bodily damage from doing the same thing repeatedly.
For example, someone who uses improper lifting techniques every day, all day, may permanently injure their back. Even office workers can develop RSIs that make it impossible to continue typing or complete other simple tasks.
The keys to avoiding these kinds of injuries are focusing on teaching your employees proper techniques for things that they do repeatedly and enforcing those techniques.
How to Prevent Injuries in the Workplace
Now that we’ve covered the most common workplace injuries and how to avoid them, let’s look at some more general strategies to prevent injuries in the workplace. Here are three that you can bring to your company today.
Implement a Strong Safety Plan
A good safety plan is a crucial step toward avoiding workplace injuries. This is your ultimate reference for everything related to safety that you want to accomplish at your company.
A strong safety plan will include information about:
- Safety goals and methods for reaching them
- Hazard identification
- List of responsible persons
- Employee training plans
- Emergency response plans
- Recordkeeping details
Keep in mind that it’s not enough to create this plan. You also need to share it with your team and ensure that everyone uses it to inform the safety work they do daily. Conducting periodic safety plan implementation reviews can help with this.
Provide Periodic Retraining
It’s essential to ensure you refresh your team’s safety training every so often. A lot can happen in a year, new employees will join your team, and existing ones may start to forget some of what they learned when they were first hired.
With periodic safety retraining, the most important safety lessons for your team to follow will always be at the top of an employee’s mind.
AOTC Can Help Your Team Avoid Workplace Injuries
Workplace injuries are a severe issue for both employees and employers. They’re dangerous, can cause lasting health problems, and can be highly costly for a business trying to maintain profitability.
That’s why you should consider contacting AOTC.
We provide safety and compliance training courses to some of the world’s top organizations. Our team of experts can also help you identify your most significant risks and opportunities for improvement when it comes to workplace safety.
Working with us could be just what you need to avoid common workplace injuries more consistently.
So why wait? Take the first step by contacting us to schedule your safety and compliance training courses today.