Over the years, governments and organizations like OSHA have put in place measures to reduce injuries sustained in the workplace. The number of incidents has been reducing yearly, from about 38 a day (in 1970) to 15 (as per the most recent data). However, to ensure absolute safety at your workplace in Massachusetts, it is important to be aware of the most common injuries that occur and how to avoid them.
Slips, trips and falls
Workers often slip on wet, oily or icy floors; trip over left lying around objects; or stumble on stairs and other uneven surfaces. These injuries can range from bruises and minor cuts to more serious ones such as head trauma, broken bones or paralysis.
You can avoid these workplace accidents by being aware of your surrounding at all times, removing hazards and ensuring your area of work is well-lit. Your employer should also provide and maintain equipment that helps you move around safely, such as handrails, ladders and signs.
Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
This kind of injury is often caused by repetitive motion, such as typing on a computer, lifting heavy objects or performing other manual labor tasks over an extended period of time. Symptoms include pain, swelling and limited range of motion in the affected area. Taking regular breaks to stretch, using proper body mechanics and ensuring good posture while working are some ways to prevent getting hurt.
Electric shock injuries occur when a worker comes in contact with an exposed electrical source. These can be fatal and are often caused by overloaded outlets, broken power cords or defective equipment.
You can avoid accidents such as getting caught between moving parts of a machine, flying objects striking you and contact with poisonous substances through proper training and safety measures. They are so serious that OSHA categorizes them among the “fatal four” of workplace injuries, alongside falls, electrocutions and motor vehicle accidents.
You can generally ensure your safety and that of others by familiarizing yourself with the hazards at your workplace and taking all necessary precautions to prevent them from causing harm. In addition to this, always report any unsafe conditions as soon as you notice them. And if you, unfortunately, get hurt, you can always file a workers’ compensation claim for financial support.