Every worker should feel safe while on the job, and while many employers and workers alike work hard to keep their workplaces safe and compliant with the regulations designed to prevent injury, accidents can still happen, and it’s important to be aware of the more common risks you may face.
At Jefferson Orthopedic Clinic, our Workers’ Compensation Department is dedicated to helping patients receive the treatment they need following a work-related injury, but we’re also passionate about practicing prevention for those injuries in the first place. Here are the three most common types of work-related injuries, as well as some tips for preventing them:
Repetitive Motion Strain
If repetitive motion is left unaddressed, it can cause strain on the muscles and tendons. This is especially true of the hands, wrists, and back, which are vulnerable to strain and frequently used during the workday. Because any kind of repetitive motion can eventually cause injury, repetitive motion strain is a concern that effects people in a wide variety of occupations, from those who work on assembly lines to those who sit at a desk and type on a keyboard. All of these activities can lead to strain on your muscles and tendons, especially in your hands or wrists. There are a few key ways to prevent repetitive motion strain, including:
- Performing hand and wrist exercises, as well as stretching these areas to keep the muscles flexible.
- Making sure to take short breaks from repetitive motion at least once every 3 hours.
- Double-checking your posture and using the appropriate form for whatever task you’re performing at work.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
If you’ve ever taken a seemingly minor fall at work, you may have gotten up and moved forward, assuming it wasn’t a major issue. However, the fact is that injuries resulting from slips, trips, and falls can actually do serious damage to your body, and you should have your injury examined as soon as possible. Some of the most common slipping, tripping, and falling injuries include:
- Twisted, strained, or sprained ankles
- Twisted, strained, or sprained knees
- Pulled muscles in the back
- Strained muscles in the neck and shoulders
- Torn muscles of any kind
For the most part, slips, trips, and falls are highly preventable. Some of the most important things you can do to avoid these types of injuries include:
- Paying attention to your surroundings at all times. This includes other people!
- Keeping your workstation clear of tripping hazards.
- Reporting any unsafe conditions you see in your work environment, especially including a lack of non-slip floor coverings or appropriate warning signage.
Overexertion injuries are actually the second most common type of nonfatal workplace injury resulting in days off from work, according to the National Safety Council. In fact, overexertion injuries represent a whopping 22% of those injuries. The majority of overexertion injuries involve back pain, but any muscle can be overexerted. This is especially true if your job involves heavy lifting, pushing, or throwing; however, even sitting or bending in a poor position at a desk can cause a seriously painful reaction injury. The following precautions can help you steer clear of these debilitating injuries:
- Always be sure to observe your workplace’s safety regulations, and hold your coworkers accountable.
- Practice proper technique when asked to lift, push, or throw heavy objects.
- Double-check your posture throughout the day to be sure you’re not hurting yourself.
- Keep up a regular exercise routine to build your strength and endurance
- Stay hydrated and stretch your muscles at multiple intervals during the day.
While you may be hesitant to report an injury to your employer, it’s extremely important to alert the appropriate person at your workplace as soon as possible if you believe you may need workers’ compensation to recover from an injury. The sooner you report, the easier it will be to receive compensation, and the quicker you can receive the treatment you need to get back on the job.
If you’re unsure how to proceed, the dedicated Workers’ Compensation Department at Jefferson Orthopedic Clinic can help. Our team is experienced and passionate about assisting you at each step, from your initial evaluation to the end of your rehabilitation. We serve as liaisons between adjusters, nurse case managers, employers, and everyone involved in your care.
If you’re ready to find relief from the top orthopedic specialists near New Orleans, schedule your first appointment with Jefferson Orthopedic Clinic today.