Every job comes with its own set of occupational hazards. Even if your job requires you to sit in front of a computer for hours on end or to be up and moving all day, you’re sure to feel the physical stress of doing the same thing repeatedly for long periods of time. Your place of work or the nature of your occupation may expose you to chemicals, biological, and even psychosocial hazards while you’re carrying out your tasks for the day.
The good news is that solid steps are being taken to make work environments safer for workers in Queensland and the rest of the country. Injuries and diseases are recorded and closely monitored each year, the nature of each case studied carefully to see which caused what injuries and how they can be avoided in the future. In addition, businesses and facilities are encouraged or required to have an active first aider in their roster. The presence of someone who has completed a basic first aid course in Brisbane is integral in ensuring workplace safety and immediate response during emergencies.
That said, what are the common injuries among Queensland workers and employees? How can you avoid them? We’ve compiled a list below:
Sprains and strains
Sprains and strains are some of the most common workplace injuries among workers in Queensland. According to the 2018 report released by the Office of Industrial Relations, sprains and strains is the most common type of injury mentioned in workers’ compensation claims, with the number reaching 18,003 in 2016-17 and 17,900 in 2017-18. These numbers do not include strains and sprains sustained in specific parts of the body, such as the back and the shoulders. This type of injury can be reduced by avoiding risk factors such as using excessive force, doing highly repetitive tasks, or tasks that require awkward posture.
Back sprains and strains
Back strains and sprains are also at the top of the list of injury types sustained in the workplace. Just like other types of musculoskeletal disorders, back strains or sprains can be the product of excessive force, repetition, or inactivity. Proper lifting techniques, as well as good posture, can help reduce the occurrence of back pain. Whenever possible, use assistive tools to lift heavy loads, and use ergonomically designed devices to reduce the risk of repetitive strain.
Open wounds on the hands and other parts of the body also rank high on the list of common injuries. There are many causes for this type of injury, including poor lighting, improper training in safety procedures, failure to wear proper protective equipment, rushing, or using improper cutting tools. To avoid incurring cuts, lacerations, and other types of open wounds, employees should use proper protective equipment. At the same time, tools and machines must be maintained well by replacing dull blades with sharp ones and ensuring guarding equipment are properly adjusted. Also, keep work areas clear at all times.
There are different types of burns, but the most common types seen in the workplace are thermal burns from coming in contact with a hot object, chemical burns from coming in contact with irritants like acid or base, and electrical burns or burns from electricity passing through the body. Proper PPE, keen focus on the work at hand and awareness of safety rules can help prevent the occurrence of burns. Facilities should make it a point to enforce safety rules and review safety techniques periodically to reduce the occurrence of burn injuries.
The number of workers that filed claims for work-related hearing loss or deafness numbered beyond a thousand in both 2017 and 2018. Workers need to know if their workplace presents noise hazards so that they can protect themselves. Steps must be taken to reduce their exposure to noise or chemicals that can damage their hearing.
Workers and employers need to work together to find the cause of injuries in their facility and take practical steps to promote everyone’s safety and well-being. This way, they can avoid preventable accidents and injuries and the cost such incidences incur to both the business and the injured employees.
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