Workplace health and safety practices are put into place not only to protect your employer, but also to protect you from injury. Despite specific practices that are designed to prevent injury, accidents can happen, leading to a workplace injury. These injuries can be severe and have even lead to the death of employees.
On the employer side, an employee injury can lead to loss of productivity, increased workers’ compensation rates and a reduction in employee morale. One of the ways to avoid workplace injury is to be aware of the most common causes of workplace injuries.
By understanding these common causes, you can take additional precautions to keep yourself safe and even advise your employer of areas were safety could be improved in order to avoid additional injuries.
When you are fatigued, your judgement is often impaired and your reflexes are much slower than when you are refreshed and well-rested. In addition, when there is an emergency situation, you may be slower to respond or you may pay less attention to detail.
Fatigue causes workplace injuries because it is difficult to adequately perform job duties when you are physically or mentally exhausted.
Stress leads to a distracted mind and may be one of the biggest causes of workplace injuries. If you are worried about your finances, your job security or health issues, you may also be at risk for heart disease, stroke and other medical conditions that could lead to injury as well.
A spilled drink or cup of coffee that is not cleaned up quickly can lead you to slip and fall, suffering injury. Some types of flooring are also more slippery after being mopped or waxed, such as tile or linoleum. In some cases, employees may be required to wear special footwear in certain areas of the company and failure to do so could result in a slip.
Extension cords that are not properly secured or loose carpeting can cause you to trip as well. Narrow hallways or stairs may obscure your view as you walk, which can also lead to tripping.
This is especially common in warehouse settings as one of the causes of workplace injuries. Items stored on high shelves could topple and fall, striking you in the head or upper body. File boxes stored on high shelves in an office or supplies stacked on shelves also have the potential to cause severe injury if they fall.
Although most companies who require employees to handle hazardous materials also require protective gear to keep them safe, there are occasions when you may be tempted to forego those precautions as a time-saving measure. The fact is that hazardous materials can cause burns or blindness if you come into contact with them. When you do not follow proper safety precautions, you could put yourself at risk of respiratory disease, skin infections and possible explosions if materials are not handled properly.
If your job requires constant heavy lifting, your company should provide you with safety equipment, such as back braces, to protect you from pulled muscles. However, a pulled muscle can occur in almost any occupation when something is lifted improperly. If you lift an object that is too heavy, fail to bend your legs or ask for assistance, you run the risk of workplace injury.
When your job requires movements that are repetitive, such as working a mouse on a computer, counting money or turning wrenches, you may suffer from what is known as a repetitive movement injury. These injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis, often cause numbness and pain which can sometimes be severe.
It is not unusual for two coworkers to collide when one turns a corner too fast or opens a door too quickly. Although these types of collisions may not cause serious injury, if one of the workers is carrying a freshly poured cup of coffee or has sharp implement in their hand, injuries can not only occur, but also be severe.
Increasingly, one of the causes of workplace injury is violence on the jobsite. Many companies have implemented security measures to keep employees safe, but they are not always enough when an estranged spouse, disgruntled employee or criminal intends to commit harm. In addition, suspicious packages, phone threats or other unusual activity may lead to workplace injury if not investigated properly.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, contact Lundy Law today to learn what rights you may have. You can arrange for your initial consultation by completing our online form or give us a call at 1-800-Lundy Law to begin the processes of getting the compensation you deserve.