Lifting and Handling
Manual handling or lifting items that are too heavy is one of the most common causes of workplace injuries. Every environment should have proper lifting and handling procedures in place, but often this one falls down to your own judgement. You have to be sensible. If you can’t do it properly, then don’t do it. And if it’s even just a tiny bit too heavy, either get someone else who is capable to do it, or grab a couple of extra hands to help out.
Tripping and Slipping
Cords, bumps in carpets, slippery tiles and steps are all possible contributors to this injury category, and they are not usually aspects of the environment that can be moved. Injuries sustained can be minor to extreme depending on how hard, far, or what angle you fall on. The best way to avoid injuries like these is to always be aware of your surroundings. Check the ground you’re walking on, wear appropriate footwear, and make sure you always have a clear view of the path in front of you.
As computers are well and truly a staple in the workplace environment in this day and age, more injuries are being related back to the repetitive motions of working on them. Carpal tunnel syndrome is often the result and most often affects typists or people working in data entry. Beauty salon workers and hairdressers are also at high risk. The repetitive motions cause damage to the nerves, so the best way to help avoid these injuries is to take regular breaks and stretch and exercise the wrists, fingers and hands.
Whether you’re on a construction site, sitting in an office or working in a kitchen, the people you work with can be just as much an injury hazard to you as you are to them. Make sure you slow down, and watch where you’re going. There would be nothing worse than injuring both yourself and someone else just because you wanted to get somewhere one minute faster. Collisions with objects can sometimes be a little bit harder to monitor. You can help other people though by making sure anything you store up high is secured, and always check above your own head when walking underneath something.
Unfortunately, even after all the precautions taken by you and your workplace, there is no 100% guarantee that accidents can be avoided. They will continue to happen. If you do suffer an injury at work, make sure to follow the proper procedures so you are looked after and can be back on your feet as quickly as possible.
What have been some of the most common workplace injuries you’ve come across? Write your answers in the space below.