Workplace safety is no joke. Did you know every year 4 million people in America suffer a workplace injury of some kind?
Even worse, every day there are 13 people who go to work and never return home. It doesn’t take a genius to see those are some crazy numbers.
In light of how serious the situation is, it makes perfect sense to cover workplace safety with the “World’s Best Boss” Michael Scott, from the hit show “The Office,” right? So let’s role play. I’m going to fill in the shoes of Michael Scott, just like in the infographic below, and you can be my employees.
I’m just kidding, that’s not really happening.
On a more serious note, workplace injuries can happen to anyone. The top ten deadliest jobs — in no particular order — belong to:
- Logging Workers
- Refuse material collectors
- Truck drivers
- Structural iron and steel workers
- Farmers and ranchers
- Construction workers
- Electrical power-line workers
Workplace Injuries Can Happen to Anyone
While I’m thrilled PR and SEO didn’t make the list, some of those jobs are still pretty common, which is disconcerting. However, if you work in an office, doing a regular 9-5 shift, there’s nothing on that list that would surprise you. What about retail employees, waiters and waitresses or even teachers? There’s nothing to worry about there, right?
Wrong. Some of the strangest workplace accidents have occurred at places that seem inherently less dangerous.
An elementary school gym teacher was struck by lightning while at work. The kicker is that he was sitting inside his office; he wasn’t even outside the school!
During another incident, a waitress working at Texas Roadhouse — amazing food, by the way — lifted a heavy tray above her head, which caused her lungs to collapse. Can you imagine something like that happening to you at work?
One New Yorker claims that after 31 years of listening to irate and loud customers, she has suffered from severe hearing loss. I’ve heard New York accents before, enough to know it gets pretty rough when someone is yelling at you in that voice.
The Most Common Injuries Are More Subtle Than You Might Think
Some of those cases seem pretty rare, though, especially the one with collapsing lungs, so it can still be difficult to imagine something like that happening to you or me. However, the most common injuries that happen to folks at work are things you would never expect, like a tendon injury or a muscle strain.
The top ten most common workplace injuries involve:
- Muscle strains
- Workplace violence
- Toppling objects
- Tendon injury
- Hazardous materials
- Trips and falls
- Carpal tunnel syndrome <— I already know I’m getting this one!
So you see, no matter where you work or what you do, you’re not always safe. If you’re not careful — or even if you are — there’s a chance you’ll fall victim to a workplace injury in the future.
How to Prevent an Injury from Happening
There are steps you can take to prevent that from happening. Here are a few guidelines to help prevent injuring yourself at work for those who have jobs like mine. There are never any guarantees, of course, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
- Take breaks every so often, to help prevent eye strain and muscle tightness. I like to stand up every 30 minutes and take my eyes off my computer.
- Adjust your chair or work station so you’re seated properly in a healthy, upright position.
- Keep an eye on the weather, and stop work immediately at the first sign of inclement conditions.
- Leave walkways clear of all objects big or small.
- Use ergonomic office products. (or if you are a cheap skate like me, just buy a wrist pad for your mouse and keyboard. It seriously does help!)
- Keep your cubicle, desk or working area clean and free from clutter. I like to wipe mine down every week with cleaning wipes.
Oh…and now the funny part of Funny Friday