When Californians think of workplace injuries, the first thought may be dangerous construction sites filled with power tools, cranes and other hazards. In a way, you aren’t wrong. Many workplace accidents, especially the most dangerous ones, do occur on construction jobs. However, not all of them do. While it may seem safe enough, the common office is rife with potential dangers.
The good news is, most hidden risks can be easily avoided, whether in the office or on the job-site. All it takes is some precaution and quick thinking. The National Safety Council has documented accident statistics, and they have released a list of the top 10 most common workplace injuries.
Unfortunately, disgruntled former employees and heated arguments can lead to violence in the workplace. Often, this results in perhaps a black eye and a few bruised ribs. Unfortunately, it may also result in gun injuries. If you notice suspicious activity, report it immediately. You may save a life, or at least stop a bloody nose.
- Repetitive Motion
Typing, hammering and other actions that require you to do the same thing over and over can result in injury. The most common is strain on the muscles, ligaments and tendons. In addition, blurred vision and back pain may happen. Using proper ergonomic equipment, taking breaks and switching up tasks can often prevent these injuries.
- Machine Entanglement
This is often one of the most devastating kinds of injuries. Usually, it is native to the industrial sector. It can result in something as minor as crushed fingers to as severe as lost limbs — or even death. Refrain from wearing jewelry or loose clothing around heavy machinery, and practice general safe procedures.
- Car Accidents
For many workers in California, driving (not including commutes) is simply part of the job. Whether you are a traveling salesman or a pizza deliverer, using a car for business purposes can result in a crash that leaves you injured. Practice distraction-free, defensive driving to prevent accidents, whether at work or driving in your free time.
- Walking Into Objects
Walking and being distracted by paperwork, conversations and diversions is a daily problem for office workers, tradesmen, construction workers and employees just about every other industry. Unfortunately, this often results in walking into furniture, walls and other fixtures. Pay attention when you are on the move, and watch out for potential obstacles in your path.
- Falling Objects
When your business relies on staying well-stocked, you may have boxes or crates precariously stacked. In the construction business, tools and other objects are often placed on high platforms or scaffolding. This can result in devastating head injuries if something falls. Always make sure your inventory is stacked safely. When necessary, especially on a job site, wear a hardhat.
- Slipping Without Falling
Slipping and tripping can be embarrassing — and painful. Often, people try to catch themselves before hitting the ground. This can result in impacts with walls or furniture, thus leading to muscle and bone injuries. Wear non-slip shoes in slick areas like kitchens or linoleum floored rooms. In addition, keep your workspace clean and clutter-free.
- Taking a Fall
If you work in a warehouse or in construction, you are likely intimately familiar with ladders, order pickers and other tools used to gain height. Falling off of these, as well as down stairways or off of roofs, can cause catastrophic bodily damage. Always use the right protective gear, like hardhats and harnesses, and make all of your moves very deliberate, and you are less likely to fall.
- Tripping and Falling
Similar to number four, falling after slipping or tripping can cause just as serious of injuries as slipping and catching yourself can. It could result in muscle injury and, depending on how you land, head trauma. Watch out around wet floors and other obstacles, and make sure you know where you’re stepping before you walk.
In many jobs, time is money. This is especially true when you work in a shipping facility or are on a time crunch for a construction job. However, working harder or faster than your body can handle can result in leg, back, arm and other injuries. Work at your pace and with proper form, and utilize back braces, pallet jacks and other equipment when possible.
In many instances, these injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. However, if the injury takes you out of the workforce long-term, that may not
be enough. If a third party is responsible for your injuries, you may be able to get even more compensation, according to OSHA in California. Because these are tricky cases, you need an experienced attorney representing you. If you have been injured at work and someone besides your employer is responsible, call the Ernst Law Group today. Your initial consultation is free.