A successful business is often dependent upon the health and well-being of its workforce. Unfortunately, thousands of people get injured at the workplace annually.

Getting injured on the job often means having to take time off work in order to recover, and possibly spending significant time in the hospital. Workplace injuries are painful and costly and can significantly alter your quality of life.

Fortunately, many of these injuries can also be avoided. Here are five common workplace accidents, and how to avoid them.

1. Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive motion injuries often occur in physically demanding industries, however, they are as common in just about any workplace. These injuries occur when a worker performs the same task over and over again in the same manner for a substantial amount of time.

Many people who suffer from these types of injuries often lose track of time, and only realize that they’ve hurt themselves when they perform a different task.

This injury can be avoided by setting a timer on your phone as a reminder to take a break and stand up, stretch, or change your movement up a bit.

2. Falling in the Workplace

One of the most common workplace injuries which can largely be avoided is falling.

Falls can occur when an employee uses an item other than a ladder to reach for something up high. Although you may be pressed for time and are tempted to use a chair instead of tracking down a ladder at your worksite, it is important to find a ladder to grab that object.

A fall from using anything other than a ladder at your workplace may result in you being financially responsible for any incurred bills stemming from your injury. If something is out of reach it is always best to wait for a ladder, and then to use it appropriately with proper safety measures in place according to your company’s policy.

3. Back Injuries in the Workplace

Back injuries are some of the most serious, workplace accidents which can occur. Back injuries often happen by picking up heavy items, or by a serious fall. Back injuries can cause permanent damage if they aren’t quickly attended to. Unfortunately, many workers are subject to back strain and injury when they are asked to perform a task that is not in their job description.

For those who have been in these types of situations, it is important to consult a lawyer who is well versed in workplace injury claims. If you are looking to hire a lawyer, L&I attorney, Seattle is home to some of the most knowledgeable and professional workplace injury lawyers available.

Because your quality of life is heavily dependent on your back and spinal health, it is important to ensure that any lasting damage incurred on the job is adequately addressed within the courts, and you are compensated fairly.

4. Vehicle Accidents in the Workplace

Motor vehicle accidents are another common workplace injury, and occur just as they do when outside of the workplace. Inattentiveness behind the wheel, distractions, and unsafe driving, are some of the main factors when it comes to these accidents.

Another factor to consider when using a workplace vehicle is whether that vehicle receives routine maintenance. Maintenance is important in order to ensure that employees are safe behind the wheel of a company vehicle. You can avoid these accidents by remaining vigilant while driving a company vehicle, and ensuring that the vehicle receives regular maintenance.

5. Overexertion

Overexertion has received increased attention throughout the last few years. Overexertion occurs when an employee is asked to go above and beyond what they are required to do. This often leads to taking on more shifts and working more hours with fewer breaks. Overexertion is commonly experienced in the health care field.

In order to avoid overexertion, it is important to know your boundaries and to voice your concerns to your supervisor. Overexertion can lead to long-term physical and mental health issues if not readily addressed.

Although workplace injuries commonly occur, that doesn’t mean they have to happen to you. It is always important to follow proper safety protocols when at work.

However, if an injury occurs beyond your control at your workplace, it is important to seek legal advice on what your rights are, as well as any other steps you may need to take in order to restore your livelihood.

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