Yes, workplace accidents are a thing. The top causes and tips to avoid them.
Accidents aren’t part of the daily work grind. Yet, almost 3 million people a year are injured in the workplace—with nearly a third serious enough to miss days of work1. Whether you’re moving at a physical, labor intensive job, or sitting at a desk most of the day, accidents and injuries happen at work.
Awareness of potential accidents at work can help you avoid them. Watch your step, or your seat, and climb safely up the ladder at work.
The 4 common causes of workplace accidents and how to avoid them2
Overexertion tops the list (proof you’re working too hard). Most workplace injuries happen as a result of simply lifting, pushing or pulling too much when lifting or moving objects. Pay attention to how you move and avoid bending, reaching and twisting when lifting. Bend from the knees, not the waist. And remember to take frequent and short breaks so you don’t overdo it.
2. Falls, slips and trips.
Mom was right—watch where you’re walking (of course you’re not texting while walking). If you use a ladder, avoid falls by placing the base of a ladder on an even, solid surface. Keep your work area neat and clean with cords and wires out of sight to prevent tripping.
3. Repetitive motion.
All that clicking and scrolling at your desk can actually hurt you. Carpel tunnel syndrome and a sore neck are common and can cause a lot of pain. Check ergonomics for the correct positioning. Try to stand up every 30 minutes. And, note, there is a right way to sit. Check this guide from the Mayo Clinic.link opens in a new window
4. Machine entanglement.
This is as bad as it sounds. If you’re working with machinery, loose clothing, hair, even fingers, are at risk for getting caught in it. Always be aware of moving equipment and/or objects in your work area, and wear the necessary protective gear. Your employer should meet the current safety standards; if they’re not, bring it to your employer’s attention or report it to the Bureau of Labor Statistics or to Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA).
While there are other types of injuries that can occur at work, these occur the most frequently. The good news is injuries in the workplace have been trending downward. With employers continuing to adhere to safety standards and employees staying alert and aware, the workplace doesn’t have to be an accident waiting to happen.
Missing days of work due to an accident can cost you and your employer in productivity. But it can also cost your wallet. Major medical insurance may not cover all the costs associated with an accident—things like a trip to the ER, doctor visits or physical therapy. Accident Insurance can help. It pays a cash benefit directly to you to help pay for the costs associated with an accident, wherever it may occur. Learn more about accidental costs.
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, EMPLOYER-REPORTED WORKPLACE INJURIES AND ILLNESSES – 2016, 11/29/17, Retrieved March 16,2018
2 IIF News Releases. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2018, from bls.gov/iif/.link opens in a new window
Supplemental insurance policies are underwritten by Combined Insurance Company of America (Chicago, IL) in all states except New York. In New York, these policies are underwritten by Combined Life Insurance Company of New York (Latham, NY). All policies contain exclusions and limitations, see the policy for details.