6 Most Common Workplace Injuries and How to Avoid Them
While workplace injuries are more common in some industries than others, they can happen to anyone. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an estimated 3 million non-fatal workplace injuries occur every year in the United States, which equates to roughly 8,600 people every day! However, if you follow these six tips on how to avoid injury at work, you’ll be able to steer clear of any potential hazards at your job and remain safe on the job site.
1) Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common workplace injuries. It occurs when repetitive motions put pressure on the median nerve, typically as it travels through the carpal tunnel in your wrist. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can result in numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand’s fingers. These symptoms are caused by swelling of the nerve due to an accumulation of fluid inside the carpal tunnel. To avoid getting this injury:
– rest your hands frequently
– be aware of any wrist pain or numbness
– adjust position regularly – hold objects correctly for less stress on the wrists
2) Slips, Trips, and Falls
For a lot of people, their workplace is their second home. Spending so much time at work can result in accidents because they are often too close to the dangers lurking there. Slips, trips, and falls are three of the most common workplace injuries that workers face each year. The top tip for avoiding these is actually to take some form of action: before you walk through an unsafe space, check your footing. Before you step up on anything that isn’t a step stool or has been visibly cleared by someone else, stop and think about what you’re about to do. If it feels wrong in any way, don’t do it!
3) Repetitive Strain Injury
A repetitive strain injury is a pain that many people who work on computers deal with, from musicians to architects. It is typically the result of overusing a specific part of the body without giving it enough time for rest. If you’re worried about repetitive strain injury, there are three things you can do:
1) Give your hands a break periodically by switching hands or alternating between activities.
2) Take regular breaks from your computer so that you don’t stay hunched over for too long without resting.
3) Use ergonomic equipment to take pressure off of certain areas when possible. For example, get a supportive chair or wrist rests.
4) Musculoskeletal Disorders
Musculoskeletal disorders are among the most common injuries at work. These often result from repetitive motions that cause overuse of a specific muscle group, tendon, or joint. Examples include tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and lower back pain. Musculoskeletal disorders can be avoided by taking care of yourself on the job, such as trying not to sit in one position for too long or shaking hands with extended fingers. Learn how you can prevent these injuries from occurring here!
5) Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming 610,000 lives each year. Additionally, it’s a major source of disability among adults. Risk factors for heart disease include obesity, diabetes, smoking tobacco products, and a sedentary lifestyle. Other risk factors include a family history of cardiovascular disease (including hypertension), stress, depression, and cholesterol levels over 200mg/dL.
Be sure to lift with your legs rather than bending at the waist. Keep your back straight and look up as you lift so you can keep a good posture while you are lifting a heavy object. Take frequent breaks when moving or lifting heavy objects, as this will help decrease the chances of getting an injury or sprain by spreading out the weight.