The workplace can be full of surprises, including surprises that cause injuries. Anyone in any type of employment can sustain a workplace injury. This includes those who work on construction sites and those who work in an office. Here, we want to discuss the top ten causes of injuries that occur in the workplace throughout the state of Colorado.
What do the Stats Tell Us?
According to data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), we can see that there were 2.7 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses during the latest reporting year across this country. This represents a decrease from the previous year. However, individuals in any type of workplace can and do sustain injuries on a regular basis.
Top Causes of Injuries at Work
Injuries can occur in a wide variety of ways and in every single workplace. Some of the top causes of injuries in the workplace across the country include:
Exposure to harmful substances. Exposure to harmful substances is typically not high on this list, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed that. According to the National Safety Council, COVID-19 was the leading cause of work-related injuries or illnesses involving days away from work during the recent reporting years. However, exposure to harmful substances can also include chemicals and harmful particulates.
Repetitive motions. Repetitive motions can lead to significant injuries. The most well-known of these is carpal tunnel syndrome, but there are certainly others that can affect any other joint or muscle in the body.
Falls on the same level. The leading cause of falls on the same level are slip and fall incidents. This can be caused by wet floors, unstable walking surfaces, obstacles and pedestrian pathways, and more.
Falls to a lower level. Falls from one level to the other can lead to catastrophic injuries. This can occur as a result of wobbly ladders, poorly constructed scaffolding, or inadequate railings.
Being hit by objects. Depending on the type of workplace, individuals run the risk of being struck by other objects. This can occur as a result of objects falling from higher levels or being struck by heavy machinery in the workplace.
Awkward postures or lifting. All individuals should be properly trained to maneuver their bodies to perform their job-related duties. Awkward postures can lead to problems stepping down or up into vehicles or problems with lifting heavier materials.
Vehicle crashes. Many jobs require individuals to operate in or around motor vehicles. Just like anywhere else, vehicle accidents can certainly affect individuals in the workplace.
Slip or trip without a fall. Most people think of slips and trips as causing fault injuries, but individuals can still be injured even if they do not fall as a result of a slip or trip. When individuals begin to fall after slipping or tripping, they try to stop the fall and correct themselves. This can lead to muscle or tendon strains, and it can also lead to a person grabbing onto or striking other objects in the vicinity.
Colliding with other objects or equipment. When there are heavy objects or equipment in the area, this could lead to a person colliding with them and sustaining an injury. Additionally, getting caught in between heavier objects on a job site can lead to catastrophic crush injuries or amputations.
Getting caught in equipment. There are various types of equipment at job sites that have many moving or rotating parts. If a person’s body parts, hair, or clothing get caught in these moving parts, it could lead to a catastrophic injury.