Your risk of getting injured at work depends largely on what kind of job you have. A person who works on the floor in a warehouse faces significantly different risk of injury than a person who sits at a desk most of the day.
Regardless of your job, however, you probably have more chances of getting injured than you realize.
Our team of highly trained experts at the three offices of Orthocenter frequently provide services to patients who have been injured at work. Take a few moments as we talk about some of the most common workplace injuries and how an orthopedic specialist may be able to help.
Common work-related injuries
According to the National Safety Council, the top three work-related injuries in 2019 included overexertion; falls, slips, and trips; and contact with objects or equipment.
Overexertion and bodily reaction injuries are the most common, accounting for about 31% of all workplace injuries. These kinds of injuries are caused by pushing, lifting, or carrying objects, or they occur because of repetitive motion.
Those most at risk for these kinds of injuries are between the ages of 45 and 65 and most often work in transportation or warehousing. However, typing all day can certainly cause repetitive use injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which happens when the nerves in your wrist become compressed.
Falls, slips, trips
Have you ever slipped, caught yourself abruptly and avoided a fall? That’s a slip or trip without a fall, and it can still result in injury.
Falls can occur when they happen on the same level as you’re on, such as running into something or falling while attempting to sit down. Other types of falls involve ending up on a lower level, such as falling from a ladder or through a collapsing structure.
All of these injuries are common at work, and they account for more than 27% of all workplace injuries. Transportation, warehousing, and agriculture are the industries where they happen most often, but they can, of course, happen regardless of the kind of work you do.
People who reach 55 years old are the most likely to experience falls, slips, or trips. There are myriad injuries that can happen as a result, from a twisted ankle to a rotator cuff tear, as well as many, many others.
Contact with objects or equipment
This type of injury is more difficult to explain, but it involves a worker and a piece of equipment or object coming into contact. Whether you get tangled in wire or your finger is caught in a machine, you’ve incurred an injury as a result of contact with objects or equipment. About 25% of workplace injuries fall into this category.
Most frequently, younger people, from 16 to 24 years old, incur injury as a result of contact with objects or equipment, and the injury is most often a cut, laceration, or puncture wound.
How an orthopedic specialist helps
Ultimately, it’s the injury itself, not where or how you were injured, that matters when it comes to the type of specialist you see for treatment. But orthopedic specialists treat a great many workplace injuries.
Orthopedic specialists generally treat musculoskeletal issues, and many workplace injuries result in musculoskeletal problems. For example, painters often end up with rotator cuff or neck problems due to overuse. If you slip or trip, you may pull a muscle or tear a tendon.
If you’ve been injured at work, we may be able to help. Sprains, strains, tendon injuries, repetitive strain injuries and many other common work-related injuries benefit from treatment by an orthopedic specialist. Schedule your consultation today.