Common workplace injuries and how to handle them
The alarming number of workplace injuries reported this year
As already discussed in this injuries at work guide, injuries on the job are more commonplace than one must assume. It would be foolish to believe that injuries in the workplace seldom occur. The Health and Safety Executive recently published results of reported non-fatal injuries in the workplace and the numbers are astounding!
In 2016/17 there were a total of 609,000 non-fatal injuries reported by employees, with only 70,116 being reported by businesses. Of these, 175 thousand resulted in more than seven days absence, while 434 thousand resulted in up to seven days absence from the workplace.
The most common types of injures at work
Of these numbers the main causes are pretty obvious, but do vary.
The majority of workplaces use laminate, vinyl or wood flooring for key areas of footfall within the business - such as bathrooms and kitchens. They are used to minimise uncleanliness issues from happening in areas where people are susceptible to being affected by a lack of hygiene. These types of flooring are also very easy to clean and maintain, but they come at a cost.
Unfortunately vinyl and laminate flooring is very slippery when wet, causing a big hazard, resulting in slipping being one of the highest workplace injuries.
In the office itself, bags, desk bins, wires, cables and more can impact workplace safety. Tripping; another big cause of workplace injuries often results when the aforementioned utilities aren’t organised and stored correctly around the office.
Sat at a desk all day in the same position without adequate movement, stretching and work breaks can result in back pain, shoulder pain, neck strain and headaches from the awkward position you may find yourself sat in.
Cuts and lacerations
Pens, desk corners, cutlery, doorway edges and more can cause cuts and lacerations if not correctly addressed. However, these sorts of objects are often hard to manage and therefore the level of safety around this is often at the managers’ discretion.
There are plenty more common causes of injury at work and those seeking advice, and expert insight into law and information on personal injury claims should do further research on the types of common injuries caused at work.
What to do when you’re injured at work
Ensure your own safety first
It’s important to ensure safety. Obtain the required medical treatment first and foremost. This could be anything from a plaster to a visit to the hospital depending on the serevity of the injury, however, ensuring your safety should be priority before anything else.
Inform the relevant personnel
You should inform the relevant personnel; this might be your line manager or the recorded first aider in the business. Ensure that a record is taken of the injury, its cause, and measures being taken to rectify/ensure the same injury will not be caused again.
It is of the utmost importance that you ensure the incident has been reported in the relevant incident report log should any legal action need to be taken.
Cover yourself with paperwork and communication
Should you require time off work, ensure you understand the company’s policy on sickness pay and acquire a written letter from your doctor/hospital confirming the required amount of leave needed to recover should the injury require it. Ensuring a paper trail and evidence communicated to your business is key when taking absence through injury at work.
The Citizen’s Advice Bureau will provide coherent and actionable advice regarding injury claims, so seek advice from their consumer advice team. Additionally, ensure that you communicate your position with your business, seek a claim form and sign and date this for coverage purposes.
Understand your rights/seek lawyer advice
Depending on the complexity of your injury, you might need to seek some advice from a lawyer. Often, lawyers provide free initial consultations in order to help understand your situation and claim. From this, they can best advise you on a course of action and whether or not you have any weight in a potential claim for injury at work against your employer.
- Health and Safety
- Workplace Injuries
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