When you go to work in the morning, the last thing you expect is to wind up in the Emergency Department. The trouble is that accidents can happen at any time. Work-related ailments are common, with around 3.8 million Americans experiencing occupational injuries and illnesses each year. Some accidents cannot be prevented, but there are steps you can take to stay safe at work.
Reducing the risk of back pain
According to the American Chiropractic Association, around 50% of Americans have symptoms of back pain. Back pain accounts for 264 million lost working days per year. The most common cause of back pain among workers is poor posture. If your job requires you to lift, or you spend long periods of time sitting or standing, it’s crucial to make sure your posture is correct. When you’re typing, for example, your shoulders should be relaxed, your spine should be straight and you shouldn’t have to reach to press the keys. It’s important to adjust the height of your desk or chair and to take regular breaks to stretch out. When lifting, use equipment to help with heavy loads, keep your back straight and bend your knees.
Slip, trip and fall risk factors
Slips, trips and falls can occur in any workplace. Often, accidents are inevitable, but employers are required to take steps to minimize the risk of accidents. If you’ve had a fall, and the incident occurred as a result of negligence on the part of your employer, you have a right to claim compensation and legal experts like those at Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz can help. There are several measures that can be introduced to minimize the risk of injuries, including ensuring stairways and corridors are well-lit, using signs to alert people to hazards, such as wet floors or hidden steps, and carrying out regular risk assessments. Employees can also play their part by wearing suitable shoes, watching where they are going and reporting any potential dangers or obstacles to the management staff.
Preventing work-related stress
Figures from the American Institute of Stress suggest that work is the most common cause of stress for 25% of adults. We all have days that are tough at work, but if you’re struggling to cope with stress, or your symptoms are becoming more severe, it’s beneficial to talk to your employer. If you have concerns about your workload, for example, it may be possible to find solutions that alleviate stress. You can also try self-help techniques, such as taking time out during the day to get some fresh air and stretch your legs, exercising on a regular basis, meditating, booking a massage once a week, devoting more time to hobbies, and talking to friends or a therapist about how you feel.
Many people go about their daily business without worrying about accidents, but workplace injuries are relatively common. To stay safe at work, take these tips on board and make sure you talk to your employer if you have any concerns about your health or safety.