Tips from the intersection of workers' comp and business.

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Workplace injuries happen every day all across the country.

In fact, "every seven seconds a worker is injured on the job." Yet, most small business owners don't think these sorts of injuries could happen in their workplace—especially if it's an office.

The conventional wisdom is really dangerous jobs like construction, mining and manufacturing are where accidents happen.

So you're probably thinking employees can't really get hurt in a traditional office job, can they?

You bet they can.

Office injuries are some of the most common workers' comp claims you'll encounter. These seemingly simple injuries account for billions (yes billions) of dollars each year in insurance claims, premiums and lost time at work.

If you work in a typical office these are the issues you're going to need to stay on the lookout for because they happen more often than you think.

The facts behind common workplace injuries

Do you know what the most common workplace injury is?

According to a recent study, the answer is overextension, also known as sprains and strains. A simple everyday task like picking up a box and tweaking a back muscle can translate into a serious injury and spending months out of work.

As a business owner, these types of claims can cost you. The same study found that just those workplace sprains and strains cost upwards of $14 billion dollars in 2015 and the ten most disabling injuries cost over $51 billion.

That's a lot of money, not to mention lost time and productivity.

And, if you don't have workers' compensation insurance, you can get hit with penalties. Plus, the requirements for Colorado workers' comp insurance state any delay in reporting injuries can incur fines to the business.

The top 5 workplace injuries

There are five big claims that stand out as the most common workplace injuries. They are:

  1. Overextension (sprains and strains)
  2. Cuts or punctures
  3. Contusions
  4. Inflammation
  5. Fractures

In some workplaces, a few of these are more common than others.

Eye injuries happen more often in manufacturing. Whereas in small businesses, cuts and punctures are actually the most frequently occurring types of injuries. In general, sprains and strains are the majority of workers' comp claims.

And when it comes to the causes of workplace injuries the two most common are from handling materials and some combination of a slip, trip or fall.

So you can see, these types of injuries and the causes of them are pretty common everyday things that most employees will encounter.

Practical tips to help prevent common workplace injuries

While it's not possible to completely eliminate accidents at the office there are things you can do to help reduce the risk. Especially when it comes to taking preventative steps for everyday occurrences.

  • Pay attention before lunch, that's when blood sugar is low and people often feel a lull inattentiveness, a mid-morning snack can help prevent it.
  • In snowy areas (you might know a place like that) have all walkways cleared and de-iced to avoid slips. Also, put mats at entrances to avoid wet and slippery floors.
  • Keep an eye on new employees, especially those inexperienced in the role, they are the most susceptible to accidents. Don't skimp on training.
  • Moving heavy file boxes can put a strain on workers, so give them the right tools—such as carts or trolleys—to make it easier to handle and transport heavy items. Or, leave it to the moving pros to handle interoffice moves.
  • Create a culture of workplace safety so employees are aware of any potential hazards and are comfortable reporting injuries right away.

Make sure you're protected

Workplace injuries are a big deal.

So it's really important both you and your employees have protection. The best way to do that is to work with the best source of information for Colorado workers' compensation insurance there is—and that's Cake Insure.

In just five minutes you can get a quote and find the perfect fit for your business and employees. Apply online to get your Colorado workers' comp quote in minutes today.