Whilst some professions are more dangerous than others, there are many different kinds of injuries that can be sustained in the workplace.
Some employers look on health and safety as an obstacle to their business’ productivity but the fact is that a failure to adequately protect employees could result in damaging work injury claims.
So what are the most common injuries and accidents to look out for?
Slips, trips and falls
Slips, trips and falls are an extremely common workplace injury as they can occur in offices, factories, restaurants or just on the street. All companies are required to have regulations to ensure that these accidents are kept to a minimum.
If there are wet floors for example, it is essential that there is signage which can indicate this to both employees and customers. Doorways and floors should always be left clear or it could result in serious injury.
Whether working as an electrician or a chef, there are considerable risks to being burned in the workplace. The best way of preventing this potentially serious injury is through regular health and training and the provision of proper equipment such as gloves, clothing, extinguishers and alarms.
Because of their serious nature, burns can lead to significant work accident compensation. Employers and managers should be fastidious in their attention to fire safety risk management.
One of the most frequently sustained injuries by office workers and anyone who is required to sit down for extended periods of time is back and neck injuries. These injuries are often due too poor posture, lack of back support or mobility.
In order to circumvent these problems, employees should ensure that they stand up and vary their movements from time to time. Employers should also ensure that all seating provided promotes good posture and that footrests be supplied for people whose feet can’t reach the floor when sitting at the right height at their desks.
Provide advice on posture and the best practice for siting at desks etc. There is a slowly growing number of companies that introduce some physical activity for their desk-based staff. This doesn’t mean large-scale P.E. classes on company time, but some suggested stretches and movements employees can undertake at their computers.
Heavy lifting is often a cause of back and neck injuries. If regular heavy lifting is required, your employer should ensure they provide you with proper health and safety training to help reduce the risk of injury.
In workplaces such as factories, building sites and warehouses, there are significant risks from falling objects. In high risk environments – the use of helmets should be mandatory.
Even in places such as offices, there are risks of things such as stationary and folders falling from poorly organised shelving, while kitchens can also present risks, especially when crockery is stored at head height. This is the responsibility of employees and managers to make sure that the workplace is well ordered and tidy, and that staff have been briefed on safety.
Repetitive strain injury can happen in any type of work situation that involves repetitive motions. The TUC have reported that roughly 1 in 50 workers in the UK suffer from RSI.
The only way to avoid this kind of injury is through varying your movements and taking regular breaks. If you experience any pains or aches in your wrist, hands or elbows, make sure that you speak with a manager to see how this can be resolved.