When it comes to working in a safe environment, your employer has a responsibility to do everything in their power to prevent unhealthy working environments. However, it’s impossible for your employer to prevent against a number of illnesses. As time passes, we are becoming more knowledgeable as a society about potential workplace hazards that need to be addressed. Let’s take a look at some of the most common workplace injuries that employees experience.
Tears, Sprains, and Strains
This category is the most common injury reported from working. Many of these injuries occur to the back region and the shoulders. Most doctors have shown these injuries are a result of overexertion. The number of employees experiencing these conditions has significantly dropped over the last few years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)
These types of injuries are very common in nurses, attendants, and orderlies. The most usual musculoskeletal illnesses reported are rotor cuff disorders and carpal tunnel syndrome. Any injuries that affect the tendons, joints, muscles, and other supporting tissues that reduce the normal range of motion due to pain fall into this category. This is the second most common type of workplace illness reported.
Asthma is a breathing condition where inflammation occurs in the airway. The symptoms of asthma include chest tightness, breathlessness, wheezing, and coughing. The conditions that fall into this category are those that are made worse due to the workplace environment. This is typically caused by exposure to an irritant or allergen while at work. Chlorine and dust are two common types of allergens that cause asthma symptoms.
Dermatitis is a skin condition where an individual develops blisters, hives, rashes, scaling, itching, or redness. Dermatitis can happen due to contact with an irritant or allergen in the workplace. Irritant contact is the most prevalent issue in the workplace and is typically a result of coming into contact with hazardous substances. The most common irritants include plants, adhesives, cement, organic solvents, cleaning products, and metalworking fluids.
Hearing And Noise Loss
Being exposed to a high level of noise in the workplace can lead to permanent hearing damage. These conditions can be general hearing loss or as specific as tinnitus. Your employer should be monitoring the decibels (dB) levels in your workplace environment. To avoid hearing loss you should be required to wear hearing protection equipment and the amount of time to exposure should be monitored.
There are many strong links between stress and physical ailments, including back pain, headaches, heart disease, and gastrointestinal disturbances. Stress can also cause psychological problems, including anxiety, loss of concentration, poor decision-making, and depression. Employers are encouraged to take a look at possible risk factors in the workplace and institute procedures to help stop stress at early stages.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
These injuries typically don’t get reported until the injuries reach the point of unbearable. The problem is the nature of these injuries make them hard to detect early. Most suffers are those who typically work on a computer throughout the day. These repetitive motions can cause vision problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, and even strains to the back. With the proper use of ergonomic equipment, an employer can help to reduce the risk of these injuries for their employees.
If you have experienced any of these above conditions due to the workplace environment that you operate in, speak to your employer about coverage for your medical costs. Many employers, including the U.S. Government, have set up programs to fund the medical costs of employees who experienced workplace injuries. For example, those who experienced injuries while working at any U.S. Government nuclear research institute can file claims eeoicpa for coverage. We highly suggest talking to your employer about potential funding.