If you work in a high-risk profession, such as construction or mining, it’s likely that you will sustain an injury. It can be hard to predict what type of accident may happen on the job given the different types of jobs and potential hazards involved. It is important to know how to identify injuries and take appropriate steps for treatment. The following are 9 common workplace injuries that should not be ignored.
1. Back injuries
Back injuries are especially common in manual labor professions. They can result from lifting heavy objects while on the job. Back injuries range from muscle and ligament strain to herniated discs and fractures. If you experience back pain, you should consult your doctor immediately to ensure that the pain isn’t a sign of something more serious such as a fracture or herniated disc.
2. Head injuries
Head injuries are usually the result of a fall or impact against an object. They are among the more severe injuries that can happen on the job, and they range from mild concussions to extreme brain trauma resulting in death. The latter is especially common in construction accidents when workers are not wearing proper protective gear such as their hard hats.
3. Injuries from slips, trips, and falls
Slips, trips, and falls account for about one-third of all fatal workplace accidents. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these types of injuries claim 40,000 lives each year. They are also common in nonfatal work injuries with over 1 million sick days attributed to fall-related injuries per year. If this kind of accident occurs because of someone else’s carelessness and it results in life-altering conditions, you can contact your personal injury attorney to help you get the appropriate compensation.
4. Shoulder injuries
Shoulder injuries can happen when you repetitively lift heavy objects or work in an awkward position for a long period of time. They are most common among construction and warehouse workers who lift and carry boxes, lumber, and other objects as part of their duties. If you sustain this type of injury on the job, don’t try to self-treat it. Get the proper medical attention so that the pain doesn’t get worse and become a chronic problem.
5. Musculoskeletal disorders
These injuries happen when you repeatedly perform a task that requires using the same set of muscles over and over again, often resulting in strain or inflammation. Examples include bursitis from lifting and carrying bags, carpal tunnel syndrome from typing on a keyboard for long hours, or tendinitis from using hand tools. You should take breaks in between doing similar tasks, stretch your muscles when you feel tension, and avoid sleeping with your wrists bent so you don’t exacerbate any wrist problems.
6. Cuts and burns
Treatment for cuts and burns is usually straightforward. Minor cuts can be cleaned up with soapy water, antiseptic, and a bandage. However, if the cut is deep or on your hand or foot, then more care is needed to disinfect it before you cover it with a bandage. Burns may require specialized treatment depending on the severity. For minor burns, you can run your burn under cold water and cover it with a sterile bandage. For more severe burns, you should consult a doctor immediately because they carry the risk of infection and may require special treatments such as antibiotics or skin grafts.
7. Eye injuries
Eye injuries range from mild irritation and discomfort to blindness and loss of vision. The latter is especially common in construction workers when they don’t wear protective eyewear such as their safety goggles. Eye injuries can be caused by chemicals or dust, flying objects such as sawdust, misdirected tools such as power saws, and lasers used for inspection purposes.
8. Hearing loss
Hearing loss is common in construction, manufacturing, and other jobs that put workers in loud work environments. It mostly happens when the worker doesn’t wear earplugs while performing his tasks over an extended period of time. If your job puts you in a situation where you are exposed to loud noises for several hours every day, ask your employer if they have earplugs available. It’s better to use them even if you don’t think it necessary because using them will protect your ears from loud noises that can potentially damage your hearing over time.
9. Mental health issues
These mental health issues include stress and anxiety that are brought about by performance pressures. They can also be exacerbated when a worker has a difficult home life, leading to emotional burnout. Employers should provide clear work instructions that are easy to understand, uninterrupted breaks every hour or so for rest and relaxation, proper training on the use of equipment, assistance with difficult tasks, and a supportive work environment.
The workplace can be a dangerous place. If you’ve been injured on the job and it results in life-altering conditions, you can contact the right authority to help you get the appropriate compensation. You should also take care of yourself by making sure that you are taking breaks every hour or so for rest and relaxation, getting proper training on how to use equipment at work, having assistance with difficult tasks as needed, and working in an environment where management makes safety a priority.