The truth is that, unfortunately, there are a lot of accidents happening at the workplace yearly, both non-fatal and fatal. More specifically, it is estimated that every year 2.3 million people around the world experience some form of work-related injuries, according to the International Labor Organization.
Indeed, businesses across all industries must adhere to health and safety regulations, stay updated with new information and provide workers’ comp to all their employees. This will ensure a safe workplace environment, where the risks of accidents or severe injuries are mitigated significantly. However, as much as one tries to be prepared and avoid such a situation, there are times when accidents still occur, and it is out of one’s control or cannot be entirely avoided. In this case, the person suffering from personal injury caused by an accident to no fault of their own is entitled to claim compensation. The employer must have workers comp.
Because the unfortunate truth is that too many accidents happen at the workplace – although most of them are non-fatal – it is crucial to discuss the most common types of accidents and injuries that usually occur in the work environment. Depending on the nature of the work and the kind of business conducted, these can differ.
Without further ado, here is the list of some of the most common workplace injuries and accidents and what to do if any of them occur:
- Slip, Trips, and Falls
This is probably the most common type of accident in a workplace. Perhaps what makes it so frequent is the fact that it can happen in any work environment, regardless of the industry or the kind of business conducted. Whether you work in an office or a construction site, slips, trips, and falls can happen.
While there is no doubt that in some workplaces, where the risks are higher, the probability of being involved in this type of accident is also higher, it cannot be denied that slips and falls can be extremely common. The severity of the injury depends on the cause and nature of the accident.
- Transportation and Vehicle Accidents
In some companies, it is necessary to hire highly skilled drivers if you need to fulfill deliveries. Taking into account the size of the business, this might mean that you need individuals to operate small cars or large trucks. Regardless of this, it is of the utmost importance that the company ensures its drivers have well-functioning and specialized vehicles and provide regular maintenance.
Safety is crucial when operating any type of vehicle, whether a car, truck or forklift, given the possible health risks that could affect the employee and other innocent bystanders. Some of the consequences of transportation or other vehicle-related accidents can be major.
For example, employees who need to operate cars can be involved in an accident to no fault of their own, causing them to suffer whiplash, among other possible injuries. In this case, they are entitled to claim compensation for whiplash injury, which can negatively impact your life.
- Lacerations and Cuts
The most common causes of accidents involving lacerations and cuts are poor training sessions offered to employees and unapplied safety procedures in the workplace. Moreover, by not providing the necessary protective equipment to staff who need to handle dangerous tools, such as sharp objects, they are more prone to getting hurt.
Such accidents can be avoided, or the probability of them occurring can be diminished, provided the employers ensure a safe work environment. However, even though businesses make sure that their employees have everything they need to do the work well and safely, the staff could still suffer from minor lacerations and cuts. For example, as a professional chef, this is the risk of the job, and it must be treated accordingly.
- Accidents Involving Falling Objects
Objects falling is a type of accident that is likely to happen in specific work environments, such as on a construction site or any other place with a high probability of objects or debris falling. For this reason, construction workers must wear a protective helmet at all times.
This being said, accidents involving falling objects can still happen in other environments apart from a construction site or warehouse. Such an accident can easily occur in an office, too, if a shelf is not installed correctly or heavy objects have been carelessly placed on a higher shelf or cupboard. The victim cannot foresee this happening, and the person can suffer from a severe injury.
For this reason, it is of the utmost importance that everyone wears protective equipment when required or that businesses instruct their employees on safety procedures, even those that might seem unnecessary or unimportant.
- Repetitive Strain Injury
More commonly known as RSI, or repetitive stress or strain injury, it is a type of injury that occurs when tendons, muscles, and nerves are subject to repetitive actions and motions. The damage happens over an extended period of time, gradually. For this reason, RSI can go unnoticed for a long time until you start seeing its results. However, these injuries are pretty common and can have significant consequences when untreated.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of injury that happens when doing an activity, such as lifting and carrying substantial and heavy items, over and over again. Plus, this can also lead to back pains if you twist the body or do sudden moves while carrying heavy packages. Therefore, some workers, such as warehouse staff, are prone to overexertion.
- Accidents From Hazardous Chemicals
In some industries, people can be exposed to hazardous chemicals. Therefore, if you are a lab worker or researcher and have to operate various chemicals, it cannot be stressed enough how crucial protective equipment is. Being exposed to hazardous chemicals can have consequences, from more minor ones such as easily treatable skin irritation to more serious ones, such as getting a disease requiring lengthy treatment.
Therefore, protective equipment like lab coats, latex gloves, safety goggles or face shield, and professional face masks are indispensable in science-related work environments. Without them, lab workers are even more predisposed to accidents from hazardous chemicals.