Injuries at work are unavoidable. Even for companies that follow every safety rule and regulation to the letter, removing one hundred percent of safety risks in the workplace is impossible. Learning more about the most common workplace injuries and how they occur can help prevent injuries of your own. The following seven types of injuries are among the most common across all jobs.


1. Herniated Discs 


A herniated disc injury occurs when the soft center of one of the discs that works as a “shock absorber” in your spine pushes out of place and places pressure on your spinal nerves. This can happen after a serious fall or blow to the back.

People who work jobs that involve physical activity, such as repetitive lifting, pulling or pushing, and bending or twisting sideways, are at risk for herniated disc injuries. Because the disc is placing pressure on your nerves, simple activities such as walking, sitting, or twisting your back can be very painful.

Symptoms of a herniated disc include:

  • Numbness and weakness of the arms or legs
  • Tingling or burning sensations
  • Pain that worsens after an activity such as walking 


2. Sprains and Strains 


Sprains and strains are injuries that may seem similar but affect different parts of the body. A sprain occurs when your ligaments, the bands of tissues holding your bones together, are stretched or torn. Strains, on the other hand, involve the tearing or stretching of muscles or tendons. The most common sprain injury is an ankle sprain, while strains often occur in the lower back and hamstrings. Both can lead to painful swelling and difficulty moving, making it challenging for those affected to continue with their daily activities. Sprains and strains are common in workplaces where employees lift heavy objects and engage in repetitive physical tasks. It is especially crucial for tired and overworked employees to take necessary precautions to avoid such injuries while working.


3. Repetitive Motion Injuries 


Repetitive physical tasks are common in many jobs, but unfortunately, they can take a toll on our bodies. The constant pushing and pulling that assembly lines and machine operators perform, for example, can result in temporary or permanent damage to muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments. This can cause pain and numbness in the wrists and fingers, often due to pinched nerves resulting from swollen tendons and ligaments. In addition, those who perform repetitive overhead work, such as construction workers, can develop shoulder disorders, including impingement syndrome, rotator cuff tears, and bicep tendonitis. These injuries can have devastating impacts on workers, rendering them unable to perform their jobs or even enjoy everyday activities. That’s why it’s crucial for employers and employees to take measures to recognize, prevent, and treat these types of injuries to protect the workforce’s well-being.


4. Fractures 


Workplace accidents can result in a variety of injuries, from minor sprains to severe fractures and breaks. Employees who work in hazardous environments, such as those in construction sites, logging, and roofing, are especially susceptible to these kinds of injuries. Broken arms, legs, ribs, and wrists are some of the more common bone fractures that can occur on the job. However, even more severe injuries, such as spinal and skull fractures, can result from accidents. It is essential for companies to prioritize safety measures and ongoing training to prevent these types of injuries and ensure the well-being of their employees.


5. Whiplash 


Whiplash, an injury that occurs when the head snaps forward and backward, is common in car accidents. Workers who drive while on the clock, such as delivery drivers, long-distance truck drivers, taxi drivers, and ambulance drivers, are at risk for car accidents while on the job.

Whiplash symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Pain at the base of the neck

Symptoms usually appear within 24 hours after the accident. This pain typically lasts several weeks and can prevent the injured person from completing even simple neck movements without some pain. 


6. Rotator Cuff Injuries 


While we often associate rotator cuff injuries with professional athletes, it’s important to recognize that these injuries can happen to anyone. Workers who perform repetitive overhead motions, such as painters and carpenters, are particularly at risk for this type of injury. The pain and discomfort associated with rotator cuff problems can be debilitating and can impact not only their work but their everyday life as well. It’s crucial that individuals who do this type of work take preventative measures to protect their shoulders and seek treatment as soon as they notice any symptoms. After all, your health is just as important as any professional athlete’s.


7. Occupational Illnesses & Diseases


An occupational illness or disease is any illness or disease resulting from exposure to various health risk factors while working. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), major occupational risks include airborne exposures, carcinogens, ergonomic stressors, and even noise. Some of the most common illnesses and diseases caused by workplace risks include:


Breathing & Respiratory Problems


The dangers of exposure to hazardous airborne chemicals, dust, gasses, or fumes at work cannot be understated. As a professional in the field, I have seen firsthand the devastating impact that years of exposure can have on an individual’s respiratory health. Asbestosis, a common illness found among construction workers and shipbuilders, is just one example of the serious breathing problems that can result from such exposure. With severe fibrosis affecting lung and throat tissue, along with the high risk of developing mesothelioma, this disease is a clear indication of the danger posed by hazardous airborne materials. Moreover, other conditions such as silicosis, beryllium disease, and pneumoconiosis are equally concerning and should be taken seriously. The effects of exposure to hazardous airborne substances remain a significant concern in many industries, underlining the importance of proper workplace health and safety practices.


Skin Diseases


Exposure to chemicals, plants, or excessive sunlight can lead to skin diseases for workers. One example includes chrome ulcers experienced by metal workers and those who handle cement. Used as ingredients in various products such as paint and cement, chromium salts or chromates often result in severe sensitivity to chrome. Besides, other skin conditions such as work-related dermatitis, eczema, contact dermatitis, friction blisters, and skin inflammation also plague workers. These issues cause discomfort and lead to a loss of productivity. Therefore, it becomes necessary for employers to provide appropriate protective measures to ensure their workers’ health and safety.


Hearing Loss


Exposure to loud or constant noise at work is a common and serious problem affecting hearing. Those most at risk for hearing loss include a variety of professions, such as construction workers, bouncers and bartenders, factory workers, ambulance drivers, and even airplane flight crews. With so many people facing the risk of hearing damage in the workplace, it is important to be proactive in protecting your hearing. This may mean using protective gear or taking breaks to rest your ears throughout the day. Protecting your hearing can ensure that you stay healthy and safe, both on and off the job.


Injured at Work? Contact a Work Injury Lawyer for Help Today


No matter the type of work injury, the result is the same. Serious injuries and illnesses prevent you from returning to work, and without pay, you may struggle to support yourself and your family. If you were injured at work, contact a workplace injury lawyer at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault today to assess your case at 419-843-6663 or by using our convenient online contact form.