The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported an estimated 621,000 non-fatal injuries that occurred on the job over a two year time span. For employers, workplace injuries can mean lost production, increased worker’s compensation premiums, and a maze of administrative work. For employees, it can mean lost traction at work, reduced wages, lots of visits to the doctor, and steps to recovery. Preventing workplace accidents begins with knowing your risk areas.
Worker’s Compensation Claims: By Accident
- Slips, trips and falls
Slips and falls are some of the most common worker’s compensation claims because they can happen to any worker, even in a professional office setting. Items laying around can cause trip hazards, while spills can cause slip hazards. But certain environments can put you and your employees at an even higher risk. Employees who have to work outdoors in icy weather or those who are required to walk up and down truck ramps are at high risk for slips and falls. Employers should provide special training and tools to reduce the risk of these types of accidents.
- Muscle strains
This one comes as no surprise. Companies with workers that regularly lift heavy items, like your UPS and FedEx guys, are no stranger to back and neck strains. Employers can prevent these injuries by training workers on proper lifting techniques and using appropriate safety tools like dollies and back braces.
- Being hit by falling objects
Especially in jobs that involve construction, manufacturing, or industrial fields, you’re going to be exposed to falling or flying objects. The result? Thousands of worker’s compensation claims to address cuts, abrasions, and even concussions. That’s why personal protective equipment (PPE), like hard hats and safety goggles, should be made a requirement for certain jobs.
- Repetitive strain injury
We’re pretty sure you’re familiar with the term carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel is one example of an RSI (repetitive strain injury). This condition can result from performing a number of different jobs due to repetitive physical activity or poor body posture. In the case of carpal tunnel, repetitive use of fingers and wrists while typing can cause numbing, tingling, and pain. Repetitive strain injuries have become increasingly common over the years because of the proliferation of computer-based jobs that entail sitting all day and repetitive typing motions. Employers can work with their worker’s compensation insurance carrier to discuss ergonomic training for their employees which includes proper positioning of desk, computer, seat, etc.
- Crashes and collisions
Workers that ride in vehicles for their job are at high risk for crashes and accidents. Because serious injuries can result from cars, tractor trailers, and forklift trucks, they can have serious consequences. Employers should provide safety training and enforce compliance with seatbelt usage, cell phone policies, and other safety policies for drivers and passengers that use work vehicles.