A workplace injury can happen to anyone. Although in some workplaces an injury may occur more frequently, we are all at risk no matter what job is being completed. It could be a major injury that has you out of work for many weeks or a minor one that lasts a week or so, but they are treated all the same regardless of their severity.
According to WorkSafe QLD, there was a recorded 71,000 general workplace injuries in Queensland in 2018, which equates to one injury for every thirty-five workers, and of those, one in eighty-five was considered a serious injury. This resulted in compensation claims valued at $680 million. The industry with the most injuries recorded was Manufacturing, with 250% more claims than the others.
Five Common Workplace Injuries
Being Hit by Moving Objects
The most common cause of this injury is an item that has not been secured properly. An item that falls from a shelf has the potential to harm or seriously injure a person. The risk is increased based on the height that the item has fallen from and its weight.
To avoid these injuries, make sure that all loads are properly secured, and regularly examine the structures they are housed in. If required make the repair or replacement a priority.
Hitting Objects with a Body Part
These injuries often occur when walkways and doorways are not cleared of obstacles. They can also occur when a workstation is not kept clear of objects that do not need to be there.
To avoid these, examine the working area. Complete a walkthrough and determine and mark areas that need to be kept clear. Pay special attention to fire exits and other escape routes. Regular inspection of the work environment can assist in keeping the workplace free from injury causing objects.
Hazardous Manual Tasks
Working with hazardous materials can be difficult, and injury can occur due to breathing in vapours or burns from chemical spills.
Avoiding these injuries is establishing protective wear guidelines and then regularly inspecting them for signs of wear. Provide clear marking with what equipment needs to be used with which materials. Regular and consistent enforcement of the guidelines for all users will assist in the limiting of injuries.
Falls, Trips and Slips
These injuries occur when a person trips over and object, or in areas where the floor is slippery, or where proper handrails are not applied.
These injuries can be avoided by having proper procedures in place for handling floor spills and keeping the floor free from rubbish and other debris. Falls can be limited by having work safe approved ladders and steps.
Injuries caused while using vehicles is usually caused by collisions. These can be difficult to limit as there are other often other parties involved. However, taking steps to make certain that drivers are operating within safe limits is key to limiting accidents.
Examine your time limits on drivers and make sure they are not unreasonably being overburdened with an unreasonable time frame, and therefore driving recklessly to meet their goals.