WHAT KIND OF INJURIES ARE MOST LIKELY TO HAPPEN AT WORK?
More than 35 per 10,000 full-time workers will experience a work injury that results in a musculoskeletal disorder (MSDs).
MSDs describes any injury, injuries or pain experienced in one or more of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, spinal discs and/or other supportive limb tissue. Examples of MSDs are disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, osteoporosis, carpal tunnel syndrome et. al.
WHO PAYS FOR CARE AFTER AN INJURY?
Injured workers earn less and pay more after an on-the-job injury. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports that workers earn on average $31,000 or 15% less over 10 years following an injury. So who bears the cost of workplace injuries if the injured workers are earning so much less? According to OSHA the burden falls on the worker more than 50% of the time.
WHEN ARE INJURIES MOST LIKELY TO OCCUR?
More than 20% of workplace injuries happen within the first few hours of the workday. One has to wonder if the people that suffered injury were well rested and fully alert. Things to keep in mind:
Lower Back injuries are commonly associated with the following:
- Lifting heavy loads
- Static muscular load bearing
- Lifting loads with poor lift technique
- Lifting loads that are too heavy for your frame
- Lifting loads at awkward angle or positioning
Joints of the Upper Body are more likely to incur injury due to repetitive movements such as:
- Sitting in place for extended periods of times
- Repetitive movements such as typing, machining or sewing
Joints in the Legs and Lower Back can be due to:
- Frequent bending, squatting, kneeling or crouching
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
Workers can sustain lifelong impact from injuries that are wholly preventable in the workplace. Some key questions to ask yourself before engaging in any potentially hazardous activity:
- How much force am I exposing my body to?
- How long will different parts of my body be exposed to this force?
- How intense is the force?
- How much wear will my body incur or how many times will I perform this task?
- What is the best posture to perform this task?
- Are there any environmental or other contributing factors I should consider?
HOW CAN WE PREVENT INJURY IN THE WORKPLACE?
The best prevention tactic is developing strong core muscular strength to protect joints, tendons and bones.
Share your story about workplace injuries here http://www.dol.gov/osha/report/
Read OSHA’s Adding Inequality to Injury: The Costs of Failing to Protect Workers on the Job here http://www.dol.gov/osha/report/20150304-inequality.htm
Read more about how to prevent MSD injuries in the workplace here http://www.who.int/entity/occupational_health/publications/en/oehmsd3.pdf