Just like any other environment, it’s possible to injure yourself while in the workplace. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 3 million such nonfatal injuries in 2014 alone. As CompSource explained, the most common workplace injuries include repetitive motion strains, falls and slips, overexertion and incidents related to malfunctioning machinery. While those figures represent a slight drop from recent years, injury is still nonetheless prevalent at offices across the country. As such, you as a worker should take certain steps to better protect yourself. Here are just a few areas of consideration to help get you started:

“There were 3 million nonfatal work injuries in 2014.”

1. Be vigilant: Whether you’re an accountant in an office or a steel worker in an industrial plant, you’re on the front lines of your workplace. That’s why you’ll be the first to see almost anything that might happen in your given workspace. If you notice a damaged floor, report it to a supervisor. Does one of the light fixtures look unsafe or unstable? Contact building maintenance. If there’s a spill or some other potential hazard on the floor, clean it up yourself. Only by being aware and alert of the area around you can you hope to improve overall safety.

2. Use your voice: Being observant is only part of the process. For instance, you may feel as if there is a possible safety issue with some area in your office, and though nothing has happened yet, you still feel a sense of unease. Even if no one’s actually been injured yet, go and speak with your nearest supervisor. Explain to them what concerns you have and what you think might occur, whether it’s about a room in the office or even a fellow co-worker. By doing so, you’re possibly preventing something bad from happening and saving everyone a lot of time, money and effort.

3. Take it easy: As mentioned earlier, overexertion is a common cause of injuries and other accidents at workplaces all over the country. It’s easy to get drawn into your work or to fall under the prey of stress, leaving yourself vulnerable to potentially costly mistakes. If you start to feel tired or overworked, take a break. If need be, speak with your supervisor and go home early. If there are issues with a co-worker, approach him or her and work things out so nothing festers. A clear and level head can go a long way in creating a truly safe and prosperous work environment.

“Use a buddy system when groups of people work late.”

4. Watch for strangers: Though not as common, a significant enough number of workplace injuries occur because un-authorized individuals make their way into your office or plant. Because the danger is still prevalent, it’d be wise to install some kind of check-in process, one where people have to sign in whenever they come and go. If ever anyone makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to report that person to security. As an extension of this, create a buddy system whenever groups of people work late. These teams can walk each other out of the office and even to respective public transit stops or cars.

In case there’s ever an accident at your workplace, chances are you might visit a CareWell Urgent Care center. For the past several years, CareWell has worked with many companies and organizations to help get employees back to work as quickly as possible. With locations across the East Coast, CareWell’s team of physicians can effectively treat bumps, bruises and other workplace-related injuries, all without the lengthy wait times at most emergency rooms
.