Categorized | Opinion

Injuries at Work

By David Peel

David PeelWork can be very dangerous. The deadliest job is to be an Alaskan crab fisherman. And nobody is surprised when people are injured being a firefighter or police officer. But even in fairly routine environments, injuries are quite common.
Distracted employees tend to be the cause and often the victims of workplace injuries. The fellow on the forklift listening to his earphones is dangerous to himself and others. The man who found out his wife left him last night does not have his “eye on the ball” today running the sheet-metal press.  Here are the most common mechanisms of injuries.  Check your place of work to see if it can be made safer.
Tripping
Walking is basically a controlled fall.   As such, anything that interrupts a step is likely to place you in a horizontal position, usually flat on the floor.  A “trip” usually stops the forward foot’s motion, such as stubbing your toe or tripping on a rug. Cords, upturned carpeting and uneven surfaces tend to cause tripping.
Slipping
On the other hand, slipping is often the front foot continuing forward without gripping. It often causes the victim to do the splits involuntarily.  Office break rooms are commonly places where spills are not cleaned up and create slick spots. Ice machines and draining coolers are frequent offenders.
Look out below!
Poorly stacked merchandise can often topple onto those below. Taller bookcases or boxes can fall when jostled.
Repetitive Work
Carpal tunnel syndrome and cubical tunnel entrapment are painful problems those engaged in repetitive motion activities sometimes face. Numbness and pain can become disabling.
Heavy lifting
This is why back injuries and hernias continue to be so common.  Team lifting and pallet jacks can prevent most lifting injuries.
Assaults
In this day and age, the most dangerous thing at work may be the guy your co-worker broke up with or the employee that was fired last week. Or the guy whose lunch you ate out of the office fridge.
Chemicals and Fire
Protective clothing, goggles and gloves cannot always stop burns, explosions or spills.
Stress
Maybe stress is the most deadly problem long term.  It contributes to the leading cause of death in America, heart disease.
Involved employees who see the importance of their contribution and feel appreciated handle workplace stress much better. Those who feel overlooked, unappreciated and powerless experience a much higher rate of absenteeism and other issues.
Peel seeks justice for those injured in car accidents, work place incidents, medical malpractice, and nursing homes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.
— What do you think? Send Letters to the Editor to thomas.sellers@journalinc.com.

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