Based on data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace injuries and illness cost businesses in the U.S. around $170 billion every year. These accidents also increase the rate of absenteeism, harm production, raise workers’ compensation rates, and increase retraining costs. These factors can all lead to lower profits, which hurts your company’s bottom line.
Certain workplace accidents are far more common than others, and many are avoidable if the proper safety protocols and precautions are in place. To help you identify potential hazards at your workplace, here is an overview of the most common workplace injuries and what can be done to prevent them.
More accidents happen at work due to the improper handling of materials than anything else. This includes carrying, lifting and lowering objects, as well as certain other activities. The resulting injuries can range from sprains and strains to contusions, cuts, punctures or fractures. Often, improper lifting and handling techniques are responsible, as well as the unsafe storage of certain items.
Those who are less experienced on the job are far more likely to be hurt than someone with more practical knowledge. On average, about a quarter of all such injuries are sustained by individuals who’ve been working at the company for less than one year. To lower these risks, proper training is essential. This includes understanding material handling techniques designed to limit the chance of injury, as well as knowing when to get assistance for team lifts or when to use appropriate lifting devices.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
The next most prevalent category is slips, trips, and falls. Injuries sustained from these accidents include strains, sprains, fractures, and head injuries. Even death is possible after a fall depending on how the person landed and what was struck.
Some of the most common causes of slips, trips, and falls include wet floors, foreign objects in walkways, and uneven surfaces. To keep these risks at bay, it’s important to ensure all pathways are clear of unnecessary objects and that spills are addressed quickly. The use of signage to mark hazards is also wise. If there is an uneven floor, make sure it is repaired in a timely manner and use non-slip rugs on slick surfaces.
For employees who work from heights, provide the proper safety gear to limit the chance of a fall or any workplace accidents. Make sure all workers are trained on the proper use of ladders and that all stairways and elevated walkways have suitable guardrails.
Items stored above floor level can potentially fall if not properly managed. Make sure all materials stored on shelves are stacked only using the approved number of layers to help ensure everything is properly balanced. If falling debris may occur in a space, provide signage noting the risk, and provide personal protective equipment to those who must cross through the area. When workers remove items from upper shelves, make sure others know not to pass underneath that area.
By taking the proper steps, you can limit the chance of an employee being injured by workplace accidents. If you would like more information about workplace safety or are looking for a new employee to join your team, the professionals at CPS Recruitment can identify top candidates in the area. Contact us today and see how our services can help.