People often get fooled into thinking that work has to be dangerous to cause safety concerns. That simply isn’t the case. Most workplace injuries—and many of the most severe—are caused by things easily avoided.
Slips, trips and falls are all major contributors to workplace injuries. This puts a premium on being mindful of your surroundings, keeping workspaces free from debris and cords, and wearing the appropriate protective gear or clothing. It seems silly, but slipping on the ice crossing your office parking lot can put you in the hospital. Tripping over a pulled cord can cause a nasty fall down a flight of stairs. It happens all the time, and it simply doesn’t have to.
Improper lifting is another significant contributor to workplace injuries. In a rush to get the job done people lift more than they should. They lift with their backs rather than their legs. Or they put themselves in odd positions where they are twisting or reaching as they lift. Simply pausing to lift correctly or to get help could save you months of pain and even surgery.
Vehicle and machinery crashes are the leading causes of workplace death in the state. In some cases workers push equipment beyond its capabilities, leading to rollovers or other incidents. Inattentive driving—such as texting a client or trying to cram in a sandwich on the way to your next appointment—also causes crashes, injuries and deaths every year.
In other words, addressing Montana’s workplace safety issue begins with awareness and personal responsibility. So be mindful. Look for hazards in the workplace. And avoid injury.