Lifting heavy objects is one of the leading causes of injury in the workplace. In 2001, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over 36 % of injuries involving missed workdays were the result of shoulder and back injuries. Overexertion and cumulative trauma were the biggest factors in these injuries.
When employees use smart lifting practices and work in their “power zone,” they are less likely to suffer from back sprains, muscle pulls, wrist injuries, elbow injuries, spinal injuries, and other injuries caused by lifting heavy objects.
If you have any type of accident at work it is important to notify your employer as soon as possible and to ensure that the accident is formally reported.
Slips, Trips and Falls
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), most general industry incidents involve strips, trips, and falls. They cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are the second most common type of workplace accident. The OSHA standards for walking/working surfaces apply to all permanent places of employment, except where only domestic, mining, or agricultural work is performed.
What are the leading causes of slips, trips and falls in the workplace? Slips can occur when floors or other working surfaces become slippery due to wet or oily processes. This includes floor cleaning, leaks, or from materials and debris left in walkways. Uneven floor or working surfaces can lead to trips. Both slips and trips can result in falls, which can occur when ladders are not maintained properly, and when stairways and elevated working surfaces are not designed properly.
In general, slips and trips occur due to a loss of traction between the shoe and the walking surface or an inadvertent contact with a fixed or movable object which may lead to a fall. There are a variety of situations that may cause slips, trips and falls:
- Wet or greasy floors
- Dry floors with wood dust or powder
- Uneven walking surfaces
- Polished or freshly waxed floors
- Loose flooring, carpeting or mats
- Transition from one floor type to another
- Missing or uneven floor tiles and bricks
- Damaged or irregular steps; no handrails
- Sloped walking surfaces
- Shoes with wet, muddy, greasy or oily soles
- Electrical cords or cables
- Open desk or file cabinet drawers
- Damaged ladder steps
- Ramps and gang planks without skid-resistant surfaces
- Metal surfaces — dock plates, construction plates
- Weather hazards — rain, sleet, ice, snow, hail, frost
- Wet leaves or pine needles
Falls from Height
In 2016, there were 370 fall fatalities out of 991 total fatalities in construction. Those deaths were preventable. There were more fatal injuries in construction than any other industry in the United States in 2015, accounting for 20% of the nation’s 4,836 work-related deaths that year. In 2015 alone, 57% of construction deaths occurred in establishments with fewer than 20 employees. Falls account for 37% of the work-related deaths suffered by construction workers. Almost two-thirds of those fatal falls were from roofs, scaffolds, and ladders. It is therefore essential that anybody who has to climb ladders, scaffolding or any other equipment receives the proper training in how to do so safely with the right equipment.
Repetitive Strain Injury
RSIs are associated with repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression, and sustained or awkward positions.
Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), also referred to as repetitive motion injuries or repetitive strain injuries, are one of the fastest growing occupational injuries, according to OSHA. Any job that requires sitting or standing in the same position for extended periods of time or repeatedly perform the same manual tasks puts you at risk for developing an RSI.
RSIs often develop gradually, so many workers don’t seek diagnosis or treatment until the condition has already taken place. If left untreated, these types of conditions can become extremely painful and debilitating and inhibit workers’ ability to perform even routine tasks.
Many people are injured whilst operating or being hit by workplace machinery. This may involve an accident whilst using a power tool, being struck by a forklift truck or being involved in a road traffic accident when driving as part of your job. Many of these accidents could be avoided with the correct training for the use of machinery and tools.
A large number of machines are in use at any given time on a job site. Injuries can occur when machines are misused, when machines aren’t properly maintained or break, or when they lack warning labels, instructions for use or necessary safety features.
At The Romaker Law Firm, we have represented thousands of clients to win their cases. We put all our efforts in obtaining the greatest possible recovery for our clients. If you or a loved one had injury while at work, give us a call without obligation to evaluate your case (312) 377-7000.