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Post By: Solutions Northwest, Inc.
Ergonomics Experts serving Washington, Oregon, and California

In 2014, more than 4,000 workers were killed while at work.

While most fatal accidents occur at physically demanding jobs such as construction or warehouse work, workplace accidents can happen in any field. That’s why you and your team should practice safety at your place of work.

This is especially vital if you’re a small business owner. Worker’s compensation can set you back financially, especially if you don’t have insurance.

While it’s not possible to fully prevent an accident at work, there are ways to ensure you and your workers are safe. Know the most common accidents at work before they happen.

Avoid muscle strains.

Does your staff lift heavy objects regularly? This is a common role in jobs such as warehousing.

Moving heavy objects can cause muscle strain and even muscle injury if your employees aren’t careful enough. Common areas affected include the neck and the back.

While you can help reduce the risk of muscle strains by teaching proper lifting techniques, this may not be enough for staff who are too careless or for lifting supplies and equipment that are too heavy.

Slips, trips, and falls are avoidable.

Slips, trips, and falls are common at any workplace. Someone can spill their drink which can cause someone to slip on the floor. Tripping on something such as furniture is also common anywhere.

Falling from height is also common; this mainly happens with ladders, but can also happen if someone is running down the stairs.

Always clean your work spills, clear any clutter around the workspace, and post hazard signs where appropriate.

Take breaks to avoid repetitive strain injury.

Repetitive strain injury, or RSI, is becoming a widely recognized injury. This is an injury caused by repetitive motion. The most common examples include carpal tunnel or arthritis caused by typing on the keyboard.

The best way to prevent RSI is by taking constant breaks. Businesses can also invest in ergonomic equipment to take the strain off of joints and muscles. Consider an ergonomics assessment to determine what ergonomic equipment best suites your workstation’s needs.

Protect workers against cuts and lacerations.

This is another injury that can happen just about anywhere. From a paper cut to a nasty gash, anything sharp can split the skin and cause bleeding.

What can cause bleeding? If you’re in warehousing, knives and other sharp objects used to cut boxes can cause a cut. If you’re in carpentry, any of your sharp tools can cause a cut.

Even in the office, pens, paper, and paper trimmers can all cause cuts.

For industries such as carpentry, always wear protection and follow safety instructions when using sharp tools.

In conclusion, stay proactive.

Whether you are the office administrator, manager, or an hourly employee, we suggest remaining proactive about safety in the workplace.

While we can’t fully stop accidents at work, we can make changes to prevent them. At Solutions Northwest Inc., we offer ergonomics consulting and ergonomics assessments to help create a safer office space.

For more guidance on all work related health and safety issues, visit SolutionsNW.com or Contact Us for ergonomics guidance. Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State, Arcata California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

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