June is National Safety Month. This designation was established by the National Safety Council as a special recognition dedicated to reducing the leading causes of injury and death, at work, on the road, and in homes and communities. In 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor’s Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 4,821 people died while on the job. This number equates to more than 13 people dying per day - a shocking statistic that is more frequent than people realize. While those working in an office job may be less at risk than those doing manual labor, knowledge of safety in the workplace benefits everyone.
The top 5 occupations that experience the largest number of workplace injuries, and as a result, more days away from work are:
Top 5 Jobs That Cause Workplace Injuries
- Public servants such as firefighters and police officers
- Transportation and shipping workers
- Manufacturing and production employees
- Installation, maintenance, and repair men
- Construction workers
The dangerous nature of these occupations shouldn't come as a surprise since exposure to machinery and heavy physical activity on the job are more likely to cause harm than operating a computer behind a desk.
While there are differences between these occupations, they share some consequential injuries.
Common Types of Workplace Injuries
- Overexertion can occur with heavy lifting and lowering, and from repetitive motions. This can cause workers to become tired and susceptible to making injurious mistakes, like hammering their hands instead of a nail on a maintenance job.
- Contact with objects or equipment also causes injuries, when people are struck by the object/equipment, caught or compressed by the object/equipment, or struck, caught, or crushed in a collapsing structure, equipment, or material. This type of injury is frequent on construction sites when people are injured by heavy machinery.
- Slip and falls, either on the same level or to a lower level, result in 25% of workplace injuries. Examples include, a painter slipping on a wet tarp, firefighters tripping over a hose, or construction workers carrying large and heavy items not being able to see and avoid a pile of bricks in their way.
- In general, any employees in these hazardous jobs may be kept away from work because of strains, sprains, tears, soreness, pain, cuts, lacerations, and punctures, resulting in missed days and difficulties returning to the workplace.
You never know when you may be in a situation to help an injured coworker. Therefore, learning how to recognize injuries and being safe on the job is a smart precaution. It's also important to know how to prevent these types of workplace injuries from happening in the first place. Below are some safety tips for employees at work:
How To Avoid Workplace Accidents
- Avoid bending, reaching, and twisting when lifting heavy objects.
- Take short breaks frequently to minimize exertion.
- Store heavy objects close to the floor.
- Be aware of moving objects and equipment in and around work areas.
- Wear the proper personal protective gear.
- Place the base of ladders on an even, solid surface.
- Use good housekeeping practices.
This June, help spread awareness in your workplace as part of National Safety Month. At work, taking safety steps now, may help in the long run. Office and desk workers should also be mindful of professionals working more physical or dangerous jobs, keeping a safe distance from them and alerting emergency personnel if a workplace injury occurs. Safety doesn’t just stop when you leave your car or home, it must continue at work, as well. No employee wants to endure the pain and suffering that comes with a workplace accident. At the very least, the image of their boss in the back of an ambulance might scare people enough to brush up on workplace safety.
Workplace injuries are much more common than people think. National Safety Month in June is helping spread awareness of safety on the job, in order to keep people off the stretcher and on their feet. If you or someone you know has experienced a workplace injury, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.