5 Ways Your Employees Could Be Injured in Your Facility
Employee safety is a top priority for employers and outlining potential hazards is an important first step to preventing employee injuries. Accidents in the workplace occur everyday and can cause life-long damage to employees and sometimes even result in death. Safety measures aren’t just options to prevent injuries, they are necessary and required by OSHA.
We put together a list of some of the most common workplace injuries that your employees could experience. These risks are serious and preventative measures must be taken to ensure the safety of workers and businesses. For National Safety Awareness month, would you reshare this post on your own channels to remind others of this important information?
1. Trips, Slips, and Falls
A large majority of workplace injuries are related to slipping or tripping in the workplace. Slipping can be caused by spills, icy conditions, or other things like ill-fitted shoes on concrete. Tripping can be caused by anything obstructing or disrupting a walkway—clutter, uncovered wires, uneven paths, low lighting, etc. Injuries from slipping or tripping at a workplace can range from cuts, sprains, and pulled muscles to broken bones and head, neck, or back injuries.
These are the most common injuries in a workplace and the ones that can most easily be avoided. Keeping work areas clean and free of clutter is the best way to avoid injuries from slipping or tripping.
Falling, on the other hand, is generally from a height, so maintaining railings and ensuring workers have the proper safety equipment can protect them from falls. Falling is considered #1 of the “Fatal 4” injuries most commonly resulting in death.
It is also important to ensure that other materials are safe from falls. Objects striking employees can cause great injury to them and is the second most common injury resulting in workplace deaths. This is why it’s so important to make sure all inventory or supplies are stored safely with preventative measures for falling. Our Rackback® pallet rack backing panels and our rack enclosures offer this kind of effective barrier. Are you utilizing them in your warehouse or plant? According to a recent study by OSHA, taking measures such as these to eliminate the “Fatal 4” injuries in your organization would save more than 590 workers' lives in the U.S. every year.
2. Machine-Related Employee Injuries
Machines in manufacturing or material handling facilities are particularly dangerous to employees if the proper safety measures aren’t taken. Moving parts can result in workers being struck by or caught in the machine, meaning disastrous injuries like loss of limb. This can also include vehicle accidents. Workers can be hit by vehicles, fall out or have objects fall out of vehicles, or be inside a vehicle when an accident occurs. Vehicle safety may seem like common sense, but having preventative measures in place like clearly outlined paths for pedestrians and separates spaces for vehicles such as forklifts is important to keep drivers and pedestrians safe.
It is crucial that all machine and vehicle operators receive proper training and that anything that has the potential to cause harm is carefully safeguarded. Make safety signs clearly visible. With something like heavy machinery, it’s always better to be overly cautious.
3. Fires, Explosions, and Electrocution
While fire and explosions make up for a small percentage of workplace injuries, they are still very serious as they are more likely to result in casualties. Fires can also cause respiratory damage, burns, and more.
Fires can be caused by open flames, combustible materials, and faulty gas lines. Similarly, electrocution can be caused by faulty wiring or temporary power at places like construction sites. Electrocution can quickly become fatal to a worker exposed to live electrical wiring or equipment.
To prevent fires, explosion, and electrocution injuries, workers should be provided with proper safety equipment and training. All containers or equipment with flammable or combustible materials should be well maintained, as well as all gas and electrical lines.
4. Stress and Overexertion Injuries
Making up another large percentage of workplace injuries, stress injuries can cause life-long pain to employees and become very costly to employers. Repetitive stress injuries can be caused by improper lifting and working without breaks. When workers try to lift with their back, instead of their legs, or repeatedly have to lift heavy objects without assistance, it can cause severe back pain, with damages that last for years to come.
To prevent these types of injuries, employees should have safety training to be properly taught how to avoid stress on their bodies. They should be required to take breaks often to rest and stretch, and equipment should be provided to help lift objects over 50 pounds. Employers should make a strong commitment to ergonomics for the sake of employees. This includes assessing work spaces, training employees as well as empowering, training, and encouraging them. Don’t forget to lift with your legs!
5. Eye and Face Injuries
In many industries, eye and face injuries are common, especially without proper protective wear. You may not consider it as often, but certain injuries can result in major damage, like blindness. Working with welding equipment and other tools or working with potentially hazardous chemicals can cause eye and face injuries, as well as respiratory damage. Those who work in these areas likely use protective eyewear regularly which is critical to their safety. But if you’re in a plant at any point, your eyes are at risk whether it be from a vehicle collision or freak accident near tools. This is why, at WireCrafters, every individual is given protective glasses before they step onto our plant floor.
Keeping your facility safe from potential hazards is important to ensuring the safety of everyone present. Cuts and bruises may not seem like a big deal, but they still point out a flaw in your facility that may not turn out as fortunate the next time someone is hurt. You’re not just protecting workers from a bump on the head, you’re protecting them from serious, life-threatening injuries and even death. Organizations that prioritize safety stand apart from the rest. Maintaining OSHA guidelines and keeping employees trained can go a long way to ensuring that safety. That’s why we are always committed to raising awareness about workplace safety, especially in our industry.
WireCrafters is dedicated to making sure your business is as safe as possible. We offer materials like wire mesh panels and pallet rack enclosures for safe storage and guardrails and handrails for your space and your machinery, all in an effort to protect your employees and inventory. Learn more about our commitment to safety here!