The Most Common Workplace Injuries

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Aug 21, 2019

Aug 21, 2019 • by Rebecca Smith

If you’re about to start a warehouse or industrial job, you’re at a higher risk of sustaining injuries. These injuries are often a result of working in close proximity to heavy machinery and constant physical exertion.

Private employers reported approximately 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries in 2017 alone. In the same year, 5,147 work-related fatalities occurred.

These numbers may have you worried. However, by educating yourself on the most common workplace injuries workers sustain, you can take measures to avoid them.

Let’s go over some of the top accidents and injuries experienced in the workplace today.

Falling Objects

Warehouses often store heavy items on high pallet racks. This means there’s always a risk of falling objects due to improper placement or the rack getting hit by a forklift or other piece of equipment.

A falling object can cause a wide range of injuries. These could include everything from head trauma to broken bones. If the object falls from a great height, it could result in a coma or even death.

Workers need to ensure they remain attentive while working around pallet racks. Equipment operators must also stay vigilant while stacking objects.

Employees working in office settings are also at risk of falling object injuries. This could involve objects getting knocked off high shelves or filing cabinets.  

Exposure to Toxic Material

Working with chemical materials presents a unique danger. Exposure to toxic fumes, gases, manufacturing agents, or paints can be extremely hazardous.

If employees don’t wear the proper safety gear, they could sustain chemical burns, poisoning, or illness. Toxic fumes can cause severe damage to the lungs and poison workers who inhale them. Extensive exposure could lead to permanent disability.

In addition to wearing safety gear, all employees who work around toxic material need to obtain the appropriate certifications. Employers and facility owners have a responsibility to display warning signs and implement a protocol for emergencies.

Equipment Entanglement

Employees who work with industrial equipment or machinery are at risk of entanglement. This occurs when a body part gets caught in the equipment while it’s in operation.

These are particularly severe injuries. Workers could sustain broken bones, severed limbs, and internal injuries. If an employee gets entangled with no other workers around to assist them, their injuries could be fatal.

The best way to avoid equipment entanglement is to follow all safety precautions. Always remain attentive and avoid using dangerous machinery while tired.

You need to understand what to do after getting injured at work due to entanglement. It’s important you look into workers compensation and legal claims.  The last thing you want is to deal with lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering without assistance.

Repetitive Stress Injury

Workers who perform the same task over and over are vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries. These injuries include cramping, loss of motion, numbness, or pain in a focused area of the body.

A repetitive stress injury usually starts out minor. However, if gone untreated, it can deteriorate and become a major health issue.

Factory workers who must assemble the same part of a product all day are susceptible to repetitive stress injuries. They may end up developing arthritis or severe joint pain.

Office employees who work on a computer all day can also sustain injuries. In this case, repetitive stress leads to carpal tunnel syndrome.  

To avoid this, workers should wear braces, take regular brakes, and perform stretches after work.

Lacerations or Cuts

Employees can sustain severe lacerations and cuts working in a wide range of environments. Regardless of the cause, these injuries could require extensive medical treatment.

Lacerations can occur when using factory equipment or tools. Many times, poor training or failure to follow safety precautions is to blame.

Workers can also sustain lacerations from falling objects or from getting struck by another employee working in close proximity to them. That’s why it’s important to remain attentive while working in a warehouse or industrial setting.

Office workers can also sustain cuts from things like box cutters, letter openers, or shredders. Usually, these injuries are minor, but should still get treated right away.

A major laceration could require skin grafts or even plastic surgery. Minor cuts may require stitches and proper aftercare treatment.

Hearing Damage

Many industrial and construction environments are extremely loud. If workers don’t wear ear protection, they’re vulnerable to hearing damage.

This injury usually occurs when a worker must operate a loud piece of machinery on a regular basis. It could also happen if a worker is in close proximity to loud noise such as hammering or drilling.

Hearing damage often develops over time. An employee may not even realize their hearing is deteriorating.

Unfortunately, this could lead to permanent hearing loss. Once a worker realizes damage was caused, it’s too late for them to recover all of their hearing.

The best way to avoid this is by wearing hearing protection the entire time you’re on a loud work site. It’s also important to get your ears checked regularly.

Muscle Strains

One of the most common types of workplace injuries is muscle strains. These can happen for a variety of reasons and affect any part of the body.

Lower back and neck strains are especially common. These often occur when a worker must bend over and lift heavy items over and over.

Shoulder strains occur if a worker must twist or stretch their upper body to either reach objects or operate machinery. Repetitive motion can also cause a shoulder strain.

A muscle strain may not seem serious at first. However, if ignored, it could lead to other injuries that could put an employee out of work. That’s why strains need immediate treatment from a physical therapist.  

Avoid These Common Workplace Injuries

Getting injured on the job can seriously affect your future. If the injury is severe enough, you could face lost wages, medical bills, and even permanent disability.

Keep these common workplace injuries in mind while on the job, and always participate in safety training. Doing so will keep you safe while you make a living.

We hope you found this article informative. If so, feel free to check out our site for more job-related information.