Most people think that the chances of workplace related accidents are very small, but workplace injuries facts state otherwise. According to private industry employers, almost 3 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported in 2013. There were also 4,000 fatal injuries. Simply put, these injuries are more common than one might assume.
Workplace Injuries: The Facts
According to Arbill, a leader in industrial safety products, “Out of the 10 most common injuries on the job, the majority are those random incidents that can happen to anyone and at any time. Not only is it the employer's responsibility to ensure a safe work environment, each employee also has a responsibility to themselves to take caution when on the job.”
Some common causes of workplace injuries include:
- Repetitive motion injuries. Repetitive motions, such as typing, can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, and muscle strain.
- Machine entanglement. This type of occupational hazard occurs most commonly in manufacturing plants or factory settings. Explore safeguards that employers and workers can take to reduce the risk of machine entanglement.
- Falling from heights. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 212,000 workers were injured by and 605 workers were killed by falls in 2009.
- Bloodborne pathogen exposure. Exposure to potential bloodborne pathogens is a common concern among healthcare workers, who routinely handle blood, body fluids, and other potentially infectious material (OPIM). Improper handling of such substances can infect workers with certain diseases, including HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
- Violent acts. On average, there are 700 workplace homicides per year, according to the Center of Disease Control (CDC).
Preventing Workplace Injuries and Illnesses
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established in 1971 to protect workers from injury and illness by establishing a federally regulated set of safety guidelines. These guidelines touch on a wide range of topics, including fall protection, ergonomics education, acceptable lab procedures, and a set of procedures known as OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.
It is important to remember that workplace injuries can lead to other injuries. For instance, if an employee is seriously injured by a fall that produces a blood spill, other employees are at risk of bloodborne pathogens exposure and/or slipping or falling themselves. Therefore, it is not recommended that employees (including janitorial staff) attempt to clean up the blood or body fluids.
To prevent possible infection or injury of your workers and comply with OSHA regulations, it is recommended that employers request the service of a bioremediation company to remove potential biohazards and sanitize the site.
Aftermath is an industry leader in bioremediation with almost 20 years of experience. We work with some of the largest retail, municipal, government, and industrial organizations in the United States for cleanup activities related to workplace injuries, crime, and other biohazard situations. Contact an Aftermath representative today.