From heavy construction to office settings, workplaces are not immune to injuries. Injuries can happen in any job role and impact employees in numerous ways. Understanding some of the most common workplace injuries is important because that can also help prevent future incidents.
This post will explain the most common types of workplace injuries, such as slip and falls and repetitive motion injuries, and provide tips on keeping yourself safe in the workplace. Every workplace injury presents unique challenges, which is why it’s important to know what to do if you’re injured while on the job.
Overexertion injuries are one of the most common workplace injuries in Texas. Activities that involve pushing, lifting, pulling, carrying, holding, or throwing an object can lead to overexertion injuries.
Manual labor jobs are some of the positions most at risk, such as construction and manufacturing. That’s not to say that workers in less physically strenuous jobs are immune from overexertion injuries. All it takes is lifting something the wrong way one time to cause an injury.
Overexertion injuries can result in muscle or ligament sprains, tendonitis, herniated discs, and more. Workers may have chronic pain, limited mobility, and, in severe cases, long-term disability.
Prevention requires a multifaceted approach. Employers should provide ample training on safety and enforce proper lifting techniques. Employees should adhere to safety guidelines and protocols.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall injuries are also among Texas’s most common workplace accidents across all work environments.
Numerous hazards can lead to a slip and fall, including wet floors, uneven surfaces, cluttered walkways, or inadequate lighting. Injuries from a slip and fall accident include everything from minor bruising to more severe injuries like head trauma or spinal cord damage.
Employers must maintain safe premises, which means floors must be clean and dry, walkways must stay unobstructed, and they should rectify any hazards.
Employees must also be proactive by staying alert, wearing proper footwear, and adhering to safety guidelines. In settings where spills are commonplace, such as restaurants and markets, immediate cleanup is necessary.
Object Impact Injuries
Object impact injuries are a significant hazard, especially in environments where machinery, tools, and other heavy equipment are in regular use. Examples include an object falling from higher up, being accidentally propelled by machinery, or mishandling equipment and tools.
Severe injuries can include fractures, brain trauma, severed limbs, and more. Jobs involving manufacturing, warehousing, and construction are at a greater risk for struck by object injuries.
It’s important to secure tools and materials, especially where the risk of an object falling is higher. Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hard hats, safety goggles, and steel-toed boots are important.
Employees should receive training on the proper use of PPE and understand why they need always to wear safety gear when in designated areas.
Work-Related Car Accident Injuries
Driving is a fundamental part of many people’s jobs, increasing the risk of accidents. If a worker suffers injuries while driving for their job, it could qualify as a workplace injury.
Salespeople, 18-wheeler drivers, and delivery people are a few jobs that require them to be on the road extensively. Injuries in auto accidents are wide-ranging, including everything from whiplash to spinal cord damage that results in paralysis.
Employers must do their part to make work-mandated driving as safe as possible. That means regularly maintaining company vehicles, providing safety training, and implementing policies that discourage risky behavior behind the wheel.
Employees should exercise caution and follow all road safety laws and guidelines. That includes wearing a seatbelt, adhering to the speed limit, avoiding drinking or taking certain medications, and not driving when tired. Employees should also be well-versed on the steps to take following a work-related car accident, including how to report the accident and seek treatment.
Workplace Violence Injuries
Violence is an often overlooked category of workplace injuries. Unfortunately, it’s one that employers should be paying additional attention to.
OSHA defines workplace violence as any act or threat of physical violence, intimidation, harassment, or disruptive behavior at work. Examples include verbal threats and physical assaults. Workplace violence can involve more than just employees—visitors, clients, and customers are also at risk.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), 761 of the 5,333 occupational fatalities in 2019 were the result of workplace violence. While some cases of workplace violence get reported, many go unreported.
Factors that can increase the risk of workplace violence include working with unstable or volatile people, exchanging money with the public, and working alone or in isolated locations. Working in high-crime areas or at jobs involving alcohol or late-night shifts can also increase the risk of violence.
Employers must do their part to maintain safe and secure working environments and adopt zero-tolerance workplace violence policies. They should also provide routine training sessions on recognizing and de-escalating potentially violent situations to help employees develop the necessary skills to handle a potentially violent situation safely.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries, also known as repetitive strain injuries (RSIs), are widespread. These injuries develop from prolonged or repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, or maintaining awkward positions. Injured areas usually involve the wrists, elbows, shoulders, and neck, which develop into conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, or tendonitis.
You typically see repetitive motion injuries in office environments, especially with people who spend a lot of their time typing and using a mouse. While offices are a hotspot for RSIs, you find them in other industries, such as manufacturing. Here, workers might perform the same physical motions over and over.
Preventing RSIs involves a combination of steps. Employers must provide an ergonomic workspace and proper equipment. Utilize chairs and workstations that minimize stress and strain. Employees should take regular breaks to reduce continuous or repetitive motions and try exercises that can alleviate strain.
How to Prevent Workplace Injuries?
In general, preventing workplace injuries requires effort from both an employer and its employees. It’s crucial to be proactive by combining employer diligence with employee awareness. Taking extra precautions won’t eliminate every workplace injury, but it can reduce the frequency and severity of injuries.
Contact a Texas Workplace Injury Lawyer
If you suffered injuries while on the job in Texas, you could have the right to bring a claim against your employer. Because the state doesn’t have mandatory workers’ compensation benefits, some employees can pursue a personal injury claim against their employer after suffering a workplace injury.
When you need legal representation, contact The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C. With more than eight decades of combined experience, our lawyers know what it takes to get compensation and benefits in a work-related injury claim.
Do you have questions about common workplace injuries in Texas? Please contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. Let us review your case and help answer all your questions.