Injuries and Illness at Work

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Injuries and Illness at Work
Kirk Smith
Tulane University

Course Title: Principles of Occupational Health

Course Number: GEHS 6540

Kirk Smith
Dr. Swiff
Principles of Occupational Health
17 April 2013
Injuries and Illness at Work
Injury and Illness at work, known by a variety of names, are universal interventions that can substantially reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries and alleviate the associated financial burdens on U.S. workplaces. Many states have requirements or voluntary guidelines for workplace injury and illness prevention programs. Also, numerous employers in the United States already manage safety-using Injury and Illness Prevention Programs and we believe that all employers can and should do the same. Most successful injury and illness prevention programs are based on a common set of key elements. These include: management leadership, worker participation, hazard identification, hazard prevention and control, education and training, and program evaluation and improvement. Workplace injuries happen all the time. The most susceptible employees who experience workplace injuries are those working in more dangerous areas such as construction sites and factories. However the most common types of injuries, which have greatly affected both employees and employers, are those that we don't necessarily think as dangerous but are nevertheless detrimental to the health and safety of workers. In this paper I will discuss the sprains and strains, overexertion fatal work injuries in the private construction sector, and nonfatal occupational injuries. The most common workplace injuries is Sprains and strains, most often involving the back, accounted for 43 percent of the 1.3 million injuries and illnesses in private industry. Over six million injuries occur in the workplace each year. Sprains, strains and tears to muscles and connective tissues are some of the most common injuries workers experience. Sprains and strains can result from lifting injuries, being hit by fallen objects, or even a simple misstep. Overusing your muscles can also cause problems. Sprains occur when a ligament has been stretched too far from its normal position. Sprains of the fingers, wrists, knees and ankles are most common. Strains are the result of pulling too far on a muscle or by pulling a muscle in one direction while it is contracting. Repetitive movements that lead to an over-stretching of muscle fibers can also cause strains. Strains of the back, neck, groin and hamstring are most common. When sprains and strains, bruises and contusions, cuts and lacerations, and fractures are combined, they accounted for nearly two-thirds of the cases with days away from work. Sprains and strains were the leading nature of injury or illness in every major industry sector in 2003, with 33 percent of these cases occurring in the trade, transportation, and utilities major industry sector and an additional 19 percent in the education and health services major industry sector. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the overall greatest number of injuries and illnesses were laborers and material movers; heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers; and nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants. Laborers and material movers, and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers often suffered sprains and strains to the trunk or lower extremities, stemming from overexertion or contacts with objects or equipment. Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants predominantly suffered sprains and strains to their trunk (typically their back), due to overexertion related to lifting or moving patients. In this paragraph I will talk about some known tips for prevention sprains and strains at work. As an employee we should always follow the employer guidelines for lifting, especially if your position requires you to lift...
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