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Workplace injuries cost Australian business owners and employees millions of dollars each year. Accidents ‘on the job’ are one of the number one causes of injuries and have dire consequences on workplace productivity. While many workplace accidents cannot be avoided, many are a result of lax rules and regulations in the workplace, employee error, and failure to incorporate proper training techniques and injury prevention methods.
Workers Injuries come in many forms:
Repetitive strain injuries - The repeated movement of your body and limbs throughout the day and over time can lead to strain. RSI injuries include the widely known carpal tunnel syndrome and symptoms include loss of movement, tingling sensations, fatigue, swelling, and tenderness.
Slips and fall - Falls and slips in the workplace can occur on flooring, scaffolding, machinery, and other dangerous places. Many falls occur because equipment and other items are not placed in their proper places and failure of employers to comply with rules regarding the use of machinery.
Defective equipment - Damaged and broken equipment can lead to various types of injuries including broken bones, falls, sprains, and even paralysis and death. All equipment should be inspected regularly to ensure that it is in proper working order to prevent workers injury as well as workers’ should be extensively trained on any and all equipment that they operate.
Many workers injury problems can be avoided by:
Incorporating training immediately upon hiring - Many employers fail to train employees until after they start ‘on the job’. By beginning training immediately you can help guarantee a worker’s familiarity in their work environment and of the rules governing their actions while working and minimise the chance of workers injuries ‘on the job’.
Enforcement of rules and awareness of responsibilities - There’s no point in having safety rules if they are not enforced. Accidents can be avoided if workers know they will be reprimanded or fined for breaking the rules.
Providing incentives for reporting hazardous areas or actions - Rewarding employees for being proactive in the spotting of dangerous or hazardous situations can have positive results in preventing accidents and also improving employee morale.
Implementing ergonomics - The use of ergonomics is becoming more and more popular as employers understand the benefits of using this science. Many of the techniques that are utilised in ergonomics are low-cost and can be implemented within a matter of minutes but can greatly reduce workers injury at the same time.
Providing stress relieving activities and areas on the job - All employees really need short periodic breaks and a place to clear their heads. Assigning designated areas for employees to relax or enjoy a simple and short stress relieving activity such as reading, enjoying a cool drink or snack can surprisingly help prevent workers injuries as well.