For the most part, employees in Washington and other states across the nation work in environments that are safe. Unfortunately, some work environments are dangerous because certain jobs are high-risk. While employers put forth efforts to ensure that employees are properly trained and protected from known dangers, this does not always occur. An employee could suffer an injury whether it is due to an accident or the conditions in the workplace.
While there are certain industries that are inherently dangerous, these are not the only occupations in Washington and other states that could result in injuries or harms in the workplace. In fact, whether an individual works in construction, in a factory, an office setting or drives for their job, employees could suffer a sudden injury in a workplace accident, causing them to require medical attention and time away from work to recover.
It will likely come as a shock to most Olympia residents that a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds across the country. This amounts to 4,600,000 worker injuries a year. What is even more staggering to know is that most of these injuries are preventable, had proper precautions been taken in the workplace and training and equipment been provided to workers.
While it may sound like working at a craft brewery is fun, the reality is that, like other workplaces, there are significant risks involved. One case of bottled beer can weigh a maximum of 42 pounds, an empty keg 30 pounds, whereas a full keg can weigh an astonishing 160 pounds. Brewery workers are constantly moving around the product. Lifting, pushing and pulling it can place significant stress on the body.
If you are a first responder, you have a difficult job. Each workday, you see people at their worst. You may be able to consciously shrug off some events, but others may haunt you. Nearly every first responder has at least one story of a call that they still remember and still affects them even if it was years ago.
Recent months have seen a surge in crane accidents at construction sites, including a crane collapse in Washington State a couple months ago that killed four and injured three others. The state's Labor and Industries Department is investigating a number of people believed to be involved in the incident, including the general contractor, the crane's owner, and three crane subcontractors.
In Washington state, people typically look up to nurses, law enforcement, teachers and first responders because individuals in these professions usually care more about the needs of others than about their own. Paramedics, who face potential danger with every response to a call, also fall into that category.
Safety authorities nationwide, including Thurston and surrounding counties in Washington state, have had many discussions about the value of ergonomic studies and workstation modifications to mitigate musculoskeletal and other injuries in workplaces. Are you fortunate enough to have an employer who prioritizes employee safety and health? If not, you might benefit from discussing the benefits of ergonomics with your superiors.
Construction workers, bloggers and baristas have one thing in common and Washington residents are probably not going to be able to guess what it is-they perform the same function again and again while working and end up suffering from repetitive strain injuries. RSI actually refers to a wide variety of problems that are associated with repetitive tasks, vibrations, mechanical compression or awkward positions.