Unless you have a high risk job, or regularly participate in high risk activities, you probably don’t think about injury prevention on a daily basis. Yet this is exactly when injuries tend to happen, when we aren’t thinking. An unexpected injury can cause a lot of hardship for the sufferer. Loss of wages from missed work, high medical bills, or missing out on activities and functions until healed are just some of the results of injury. A bit of mindfulness on the job can prevent unnecessary injury .
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly 3 million workplace injuries were reported in the U.S. in 2014 alone. Even if you work at a desk, you aren’t immune to injury. Here 3 of the top work place injuries, and how you can keep yourself and your co-workers safe.
1. Overexertion. If your job is very physical and strenuous, you run the risk of overexertion. By taking care of yourself to prevent this, you will not only reduce your risk of injury or illness, but you will be more productive at work.
- Rest: Overexertion happens when you don’t take the breaks your body needs to recover from work. Schedule several breaks into your day, and be sure to take them!
- Hydration: Your body needs adequate water to function properly. This is especially true in hot weather when you most likely will sweat more. Make sure you have access to water, and sip throughout the day.
- Fuel: Just like a car stops running when it runs out of fuel, you body needs proper nutrition to fuel heavy work. Plan in advance to make sure you eat a healthy breakfast in the morning, pack a nutrient dense lunch, and at least one snack.
2. Slipping or tripping. Everyone is susceptible to this one! Tripping on uneven floors or carpets, slipping on a wet floor, or stumbling over something laying in a walk way are just a few of the many ways American workers fall and get injured on the job. Injuries range from a simple bruise to broken bones, but care and attentiveness can prevent this type of injury from happening.
- Watch where you walk: Many of us are busy during the workday, and multi-tasking can mean texting, emailing, or any number of tasks on our smart phones. Put the phone down and watch where you walk!
- If you see something, say something: Do you see a tear in the carpet that could be a potential hazard? Make sure to report it to the proper department. Do you see a freshly mopped floor, but no wet floor sign? Ask that one be displayed. You might feel like you are being a pest, but what you see and report could prevent someone else from getting injured.
3. Falling from heights. Do you work in an environment that requires you to be at a height? If so, the correct procedure should be followed to prevent an injury that occurs as a result of a fall. This also applies to workers who may take flights of stairs during the workday.
- Inspect equipment and safety gear….every time. If you use equipment on the job inspect it daily to be sure it is functioning properly. If you wear safety gear, check before each use that it is in working condition.
- Be alert. Being aware of your surroundings, whether you are on a construction site working from a rooftop, or walking down a flight of stairs at your office building can prevent an unnecessary and possibly catastrophic fall. If you become aware of an unsafe situation, secure your safety immediately, and get help in taking action against what ever may be amiss.
If all else fails and you do sustain an injury on the job, your first step is to report it to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry OSHA division.
We can help guide you through the legal side of recovering from a workplace injury. Please contact us today.