Workplace injuries are common, and it’s often most prevalent in the shipping/transportation industry.
Nearly 13,000 workers are injured on the job daily, or around one injury every seven seconds, according to the National Safety Council. While most injuries tend to be minor, including sprains, strains, and soreness, numerous on-the-job injuries are commonplace. Sadly, fatalities have also risen recently in the transportation and shipping industry since 2015. A workplace injury is a problem that can be limited with some preparation, training, and safety planning.
It is easy to see why the shipping and transportation industry would be a business sector with a high risk for a workplace injury. The constant lifting and moving of goods and regular use of machines like forklifts or cranes adds a level of danger to any operation.
Some of the potential injuries might seem obvious, while others might not be so clear. Chemical spills, machinery accidents, slips and falls on wet surfaces are a few of the common hazards in the industry.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Year after year, slips and falls continue to wreak havoc on most labor-intensive industries. In crowded warehouses, cramped delivery trucks or slippery loading docks, hazards skyrocket and falls are common.
Falling as a workplace injury is broken into two categories: falling on the same level and falling to a lower level. When combined, they can total over $25 billion in direct U.S. workers compensation costs.
Slips also account for over $3.8 billion in compensation costs. While not as prevalent as falls, slips can also lead to serious injury and time off work.
Ironically, while slips, trips, and falls account for the most workplace injuries, they are very preventable in the shipping and transportation industry. Companies can take preventive measures to limit risk and keep employees safe.
A great example is adding our anti-slip tape to surfaces that see heavy traffic or in loading docks that could be prone to accumulating moisture on foot surfaces. Our fiberglass step covers or Bold Step Treads are excellent remedies for added work hazards on staircases or loading platforms. Adding guardrails, warning or caution signs, and other safety equipment can help limit accidents.
Would you like to know more? Check out How to Choose the Right Slip Resistance Products.
Other typical injuries in the transportation and shipping industry occur while operating moving vehicles.
When working with heavy machinery, like large goods vehicles, forklifts, and cranes, an accident is always a concern. Injuries caused by contact with objects or equipment account for 25% of workplace injuries and 33% of fatalities on the job.
The most common involve workers who are struck by machinery that’s in use.
Other issues include tripping, falling from machinery, or being struck by an object which has fallen off a truck.
Often delivery of goods involves working in less than stellar weather. Workers are in and out of their trucks while regularly encountering rain, snow and other adverse conditions that create slippery and unsafe scenarios. While some of these injuries might not have been preventable, taking better precautions or adding safe footing products to equipment such as grit-coated fiberglass step covers or Master Stop Extreme Tapes & Treads can help enhance grip and help mitigate injuries.
Long, physical, and labor-intensive tasks like those in the shipping and transportation industry can result in overexertion and other self-inflicted injuries. While not often serious, overexertion on the job can lead to added time off work or more debilitating conditions.
Overexertion accounted for 22% of all reported claims in 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. With 35% of all workplace injuries, it is the top cause of lost work days.
Tasks such as constant heavy lifting and lowering of objects are the most common cause of fatigue at work. Other roles that require constant physical and taxing work can trigger periods of exhaustion. Twisting or turning incorrectly can also cause fits of strain and ongoing soreness.
Companies should encourage employees to pace themselves, taking regular breaks and know their to avoid fatigue.
Injuries in the shipping and transportation industry will happen, but they are preventable with some thought and planning. Installing Sure-Foot products where appropriate can help limit injuries and added business liability expenses.
If you want to learn more about which anti-slip products can help improve safety in your business, you can contact us at 800-522-6566. Already interested in our products? Request a product sample today.