This a guest blog post by Arthur Gueli
Have you ever worried about your employees getting injured?
You might think this is only a concern for certain high-risk industries, like construction. But the reality is that serious workplace injuries can happen in any organization.
As a good employer, you’re probably horrified at the thought of anyone getting hurt while working for you. Plus, if an employee is injured, you could face legal action and a lengthy period of medical leave.
How Do Employees Typically Get Injured at Work?
Here are four of the most common injuries at work:
#1: Overexertion (e.g. Pulled Muscles)
Overexertion injuries can be associated with lifting or lowering heavy items incorrectly.
This can be a serious issue not only for your employees but also for the company: Thomas Marchese reports that back pain issues cost employers more than $7 billion annually.
#2: Falls, Slips, and Trips
These types of accidents can happen in any workplace. A slippery bathroom floor, a trailing cable, a wobbly ladder – it only takes a moment for an employee to crash to the ground.
While most slips and trips aren’t likely to result in more than a bruise or two, it’s entirely possible for employees to end up with a broken bone or a nasty cut.
Falls from a height, such as from a ladder, can be very serious or even fatal.
#3: Accidents with Machinery
Machinery in factories or production areas can be hazardous if someone gets loose hair, clothing, or part of their body entangled in it.
Even office machinery can be a danger: ties, fingers, or loose clothing could be caught in a paper shredder, for instance.
#4: Repetitive Strain Injury
Repetitive strain injury doesn’t occur as the result of a sudden accident. Instead, it builds up over time.
There are different types of repetitive strain injuries, but one of the most common is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). This causes tingling, numbness, and pain in the hand and fingers. It can be caused by using tools that vibrate or it can be brought on simply by doing a lot of typing.
Avoiding Injuries in Your Workplace
You might think that injuries simply happen out of the blue. However, many injuries can be foreseen and avoided. Here are five practical things you can do:
#1: Train employees on how to use equipment where applicable. Even if you think something is obvious, like how to climb a ladder or lift heavy boxes safely, it’s still important to run through it.
#3: Provide any equipment or clothing that employees need to stay safe. Sometimes, this might be obvious, like hard hats on a building site or lab coats in a laboratory. Or, there might be less obvious things you could offer, such as fingerless gloves to help prevent CTS in a cold workplace.
#4: Be proactive about addressing employees’ concerns. If something is worrying your employees and they think it’s unsafe, do something about it – even if that means investing some money or resources into fixing the problem.
#5: Take any existing illness, injury, disability, or medical condition into account. Perhaps one of your employees has epilepsy, is pregnant, or has a disability or health condition. You may need to make reasonable adjustments to allow them to be able to work for you, safely.
Don’t just assume that your workplace is safe. Be aware of the possibility of injuries – and be proactive in taking steps to avoid them.
For further information about epilepsy in the work environment read Need2Know’s blog post https://need2knowbooks.co.uk/working-with-epilepsy/