Understanding Workplace Injuries

Understanding Workplace Injuries
Understanding Workplace Injuries

Workplace injuries are unplanned or uncontrolled events in the workplace that result in injury. They can prove to be very painful and costly for both the employee and the employer. Let’s consider some of the most common workplace injuries, what can be done to prevent them, and what should be done in case you do get injured at work.

Overexertion injuries: These injuries account for nearly one-third of all workplace injuries. They can occur with lifting or lowering heavy objects improperly, or repetitive movements. They can lead to problems like ligament injury, back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. To reduce risk of such injuries, use proper technique when lifting objects. Avoid twisting or reaching when lifting objects and take frequent breaks when performing repetitive activities.

Accidental contact with objects: These injuries account for about one-fourth of all workplace injuries. These include being struck by equipment, getting caught in machinery, getting hit by a collapsing structure. It is best to store heavy objects on the ground or close to ground level, practice mindfulness and be aware of moving objects and equipment in your workspace and wear appropriate personal protective equipment.

Falls, slips, and trips: These injuries account for about one-fourth of all workplace injuries. They include falls at ground level and falls from a height. Following good housekeeping practices to keep floors clean and non-slippery and ensuring the base of ladders are placed on solid even surfaces can help avoid falls that lead to serious injuries.

A workplace injury can lead to a lot of stress if you are not prepared. Dealing with an injury starts far before an injury occurs. There needs to be an assigned person to handle injury situations and a clear action plan for reference. The goal should be to provide the appropriate level of care. Identify whether this is an emergency or something that can be handled by providing first aid. Making a quick and accurate assessment of the level of care needed and right source for that care will help protect the health of the employee and prevent unnecessary expenses.

If you have been seriously hurt, the first step is to immediately seek medical assistance from an emergency room or from a physician. Don’t downplay your injury as today’s sore back may become tomorrow’s herniated disc. The second step is to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. The third step is to file your worker injury claim form. The last step is to follow the recommended recovery plan by your doctor or insurance company representative so you can avail worker’s compensation.

Dr. Ramesh Chandra has been practicing orthopedic surgery in the Washington DC Metropolitan area since 1984. The Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is easily accessed from anywhere in the Washington DC metropolitan area with offices located in Falls Church, Reston/Herndon and Tysons Corner. For all appointments and inquiries, please call 703 848-0800 or click here to request an appointment online.

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