Top Five Common Injuries in the Workplace
The workplace can be a hazardous place and incidentally, accidents can happen. The degree of the injury can be big or small depending on the kind of work you have. Several unforeseen circumstances can always happen even if you feel safe in the four corners of your office, even your cubicle.
Prevention is always better than cure. I have listed below several common injuries experienced in the workplace, how to prevent them and how to treat them.
TRIPS, SLIPS AND FALLS
Causes: Wet floors are the major culprits in slipping and tripping accidents. Other causes are small objects, loose carpets or disarranged furniture such as chairs or tables. Falling down the stairs is another common accident in the workplace.
Prevention: Make sure there are no wet floors in the area. If a janitor is cleaning, make sure there is a CAUTION: WET FLOOR sign near the wet floors. Damaged floors, especially loose carpets, should be repaired. Always keep your surroundings orderly and pick up any small objects on the floor. Lastly, stay alert.
Cure: Should you trip, slip or fall, feel your body for any pain or fracture. If you can get up, lie on your side, bend the leg that is on top and lift yourself onto your elbows or hands. Pull yourself toward an armchair or other sturdy object, then kneel while placing both hands on the chair or object. Place your stronger leg in front, holding on to the chair or object. Stand up and very carefully, turn and sit down. If you can’t get up, call out for help or use your phone (if you have one) and call for emergency help. Do not try and stand up to prevent further injuries. Once settled, it is best to go and see the doctor immediately.
Causes: Sitting down on your desk for hours causes strains in the muscle and joints, particularly in the back and neck. Exerting too much force in lifting, pushing or pulling objects can also lead to muscle and joint injuries as well. This is very common in construction sites as well as factories and manufacturing companies.
Prevention: Do stretching exercises and frequently change the position of your workstation to avoid prolonged static posture. Your office should also provide ergonomic chairs for comfort and protection. Leave your desk from time to time and enjoy your breaks. For overexertion, use other techniques that will reduce the effort in lifting, pushing or pulling heavy objects. Practice flexibility exercises like yoga or gymnastics to maintain physical fitness.
Cure: Massage therapy is very beneficial in draining out the stress in your muscles and joints. You can also check with a chiropractor should you experience any spinal misalignments. Rest your hands and feet during breaks.
REPETITIVE MOTION INJURIES
Causes: Repetitive motion injuries are very common in an office setting. This type of workplace injury is one of those less obvious but definitely harmful ones in the long run. Repetitive motions such as typing and using the computer 24/7 can strain muscles and tendons causing back pain, vision problems, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Prevention: Realign your hands when using a keyboard in a way that will not hurt your hands. Rest them at work once in a while.
Cure: Try ice and rest for short-term relief and physical therapy to help joins, tendons and muscles heal in the long run.
Causes: These includes accidents involving cargo trucks or delivery vans. It also involves road accidents of employees going to work through their private cars or through commute.
Prevention: Eyes on the road for those who are driving. Make sure your eyes and your mind are well-rested before you travel, especially at night. Safety trainings should also be given to those employees involved in transporting goods and people.
Cure: Always seek medical attention when in a road accident to prevent further damages.
Causes: Any workplace environment that involves shelving is susceptible to toppling incidents, due to either improper employee behaviour or improperly secured shelving units.
Prevention: Be sure shelving units are arranged properly or securely. Be careful when you pass through the hallways with lots of shelving units.
Cure: Mostly these objects from shelves fall directly to your head. Depending on the weight of the shelving, you should see a doctor should you experience dizziness or nausea.
We should always be ready for anything can happen. The best and most effective prevention from any workplace accidents is to stay alert. As they say, it is better to be safe than to be sorry. Always be prepared when going to work, or anywhere for that matter. We never know what lies ahead.