Getting injured on the job is more common than you may think, and injuries occur in more workplace environments than you would expect. A new study by Pinnacol, a leading workers’ compensation insurance provider, examines five years of data regarding workers’ compensation claims in Colorado.
Back strain common among multiple professions
According to the Sterling Journal-Advocate, back strain is the most reported injury for construction workers, but it is also the most common injury for professional and clerical employees in Colorado.
Office workers can injure their backs while picking up large boxes of paper, office equipment or the large water bottles used for water coolers.
Back strain is also a leading cause of injury for health care professionals. These injuries may occur when a worker is trying to move a patient, or if a patient starts to fall, and the health care worker attempts to break the patient’s fall.
Patient violence can lead to injury for health care employees
The fourth leading cause of injury for health care workers is being hit by patients. This could be due an increase in dementia and drug abuse in the U.S. In either case, these types of patients are more prone to unpredictable, and sometimes dangerous, behavior.
Certain factors make injury more likely for workers
Other than the environment they work in, there are other factors that can make workers more susceptible to injury. In the hours before lunch, workers are more likely to be hurt. Typically, people’s blood sugar takes a dip around this time, which means they are less able to perform normal functions. This can certainly lead to making mistakes that could cause injury. Staying hydrated and keeping snacks at your workstation could help prevent blood sugar from dropping.
Another risk factor for workplace injury is inexperience on the job. Almost half the injury claims filed by construction workers occur during their first year on the job. Professionals that work in health care and office settings are also more likely to be hurt during their first year.
For workers starting a new job, it is crucial to make sure you can handle all the physical requirements needed for the position. You also need to receive adequate training for your new position. If you find yourself struggling, you should consider reaching out to your supervisor, so you do not overextend yourself and cause a workplace injury.