5 of the most common workplace injuries (and how to avoid them)

wound-106374_640Workplace injuries are an extremely common problem. Many of us head out to work without giving a thought to the potential risks our workplace holds. In 2011/2012 around 591,000 people had an accident at work resulting around 156,000 of them taking 7 days off to recover. In 173 cases these injuries proved fatal. Bearing these statistics in mind, think about your working environment and ask does it pose any potential risks? In this blog I’m going to cover 5 of the most common injuries caused in the work place which you can look out for and how to avoid them.

Repetitive strain injury – This injury is the result of people having to perform the same motions continuously throughout the day. It is a more common issue in office environments where people are required to type all day and repeat the same movements. This can cause various problems to their muscles such as edema and tendinitis. To avoid RSI you must ensure that you have been given the correct equipment and are seated in the correct posture. For office workers who are using keyboards and mice all day there are items on the market designed to reduce the chance of being effected by repetitive strain injury such as specifically designed keyboards. If you feel that you’re at risk of RSI then this equipment should be an investment you consider.

Falls & Slips – This problem is so common because it can happen in any environment. Whether you work in an office or construction yard there is exactly the same amount of potential trip and slip hazards, from wires and cables to uneven floors. Wet surfaces are often a massive cause of this unnecessary accident and just by simply being aware of what’s going on around you can help avoid any nasty falls. Make sure all trip hazards are safely tucked away and any spills are quickly dealt with. If you do fall in the work place and it isn’t directly your fault you may be able to make personal injury claims. Just remember, keep your wits about you!

Neck & Back – Another injury that can be found in nearly any type of work place. Back and neck strain is easily caused by bad posture, so just like repetitive strain injury you should try to make sure that you are sitting correctly at a desk. Back injuries can be extremely painful if your job involves heavy lifting. It may just be a pulled muscle but in some cases the accident could be more serious. You should always be fully trained on how to lift correctly if your job revolves around work with heavy objects. If you haven’t received this training then make sure that you ask for it!

Burns – Burns aren’t just caused by naked flames, although this is a risk in the workplace. Many burns are caused by unmarked hazardous substances which people use at work. Again, to avoid this problem you should have been fully trained by an employer on how to correct deal with these substances and be given protective clothing. Burns can cause long term damage so make sure that you are adequately protected when working with substances and around naked flames.

Vision – As computers become more and more relied upon in both our work and personal lives we’re spending much more time staring at screens. This in the long term can cause various problems to eyesight. In the workplace your work area should be well lit and any glare from the screen should be kept to a minimum. Regular breaks away from the screen are also a good way to avoid any unnecessary eye strain. If you do feel like you’re suffering from eye problems then you should talk to your employer and discuss how this can be helped. You should also pay a visit to the opticians to see if you may need glasses.

At work, you should never be put in a situation that could cause any harm. Correct training, adequate protection and a good dose of common sense should help you avoid any accidents. Remember that your health and wellbeing is paramount so don’t make any compromises.