Overexertion and falls are among the most common types of workplace injuries in the United States, according to a new study.
Liberty Mutual's "2019 Workplace Safety Index" reports on the causes and costs of the most common injuries across eight major industries. The list can help employers understand the kinds of injuries that are most likely to occur on their worksites.
With the information in hand, review your current workplace safety programs to make sure you are focusing your efforts in the right area.
According to the report, the most common workplace injuries are:
These injuries accounted for 85% of all workers' compensation claims in eight industries, costing $46.9 billion.
What you can do
Keep your workplace safe by reviewing your safety program regularly. Ongoing training and management buy-in are essential to fostering a culture of safety. We'll look at how to prevent the top three injuries here:
Overexertion - An overexertion injury happens when a worker becomes fatigued or performs a job where the body's capacity to complete the task was not sufficiently considered.
Both can cause a mismatch between the physical capacity of workers and the physical demands of their jobs. These types of injuries are difficult to address since everyone has different physical strengths and stamina.
First, determine what types of strains and sprains are occurring among your workforce. Are there obvious jobs that demand high levels of strength, such as those requiring lifting? If so, consider using engineering controls such as mechanical lift assists, overhead hoists, and other controls to improve the positioning of products.
Another step would be to reduce the amount of weight lifted.
If high-strength jobs are not the problem, try to determine whether fatigue is a factor by talking to your workers about their daily duties and how often they take breaks. Short, more frequent breaks help prevent fatigue better than longer, less frequent ones.
Struck by object - To avoid struck-by injuries, require that your workers:
Falls on the same level - To reduce the chances of your workers injuring themselves from trips and falls, you should focus on: