What are the most common workplace injuries?

Workers in North Carolina are vulnerable to accidents and injuries on the job, especially when safety guidelines are not being met. According to the National Safety Council, a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds, which leads to 4.6 million injuries each year. In 2017, work-related injuries resulted in 104 million lost production days. Workplace injuries affect companies financially and can be devastating to the employee. Prevention training can help to minimize workplace injuries.

The occupations with the largest number of workplace injuries are:

  1. Service (police and firefighters)
  2. Shipping and transportation
  3. Production and manufacturing
  4. Maintenance, installation and repair
  5. Construction

In each of these industries, workplace injuries led to employees missing days of work. This limits the company’s production and affects the financial bottom line, not to mention the physical, mental and emotional stress that the worker deals with.

The most common workplace injury is overexertion, which leads to almost 34% of injuries. This can refer to repetitive motion or lifting and lowering and can be prevented with short, frequent breaks and avoiding twisting, reaching and bending when lifting heavy objects.

The second most common injury is contact with equipment and objects which causes 26% of injuries on the job. This can refer to a worker being struck by equipment or an object, compressed or caught in objects or equipment or caught, crushed or struck by collapsing material, equipment or structure. These injuries can be minimized when workplaces store heavy objects on the floor, workers wear proper protective equipment and are they are always aware of moving equipment.

The third most common injury is trips, slips and falls, which causes 25.8% of workplace injuries. This can mean falls on the same level or falls to a lower level. To avoid these injuries, workers should place ladders on a solid, even surface and always use good housekeeping practices.

Employers are responsible to act and spare workers from unnecessary suffering and pain. Between the worker and the employer meeting the safety requirements, the incidences of injury can be decreased.

This information is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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