There are nearly 3.3 million people employed in the state of Colorado, powering a dynamic and diverse economy. From offices and construction sites to farms and warehouses, the state’s workers face a variety of physical hazards on the job.
One million of those workers are covered by Pinnacol’s workers’ compensation insurance, so our data provides a solid snapshot of how Coloradans get hurt on the job. Here are five most common injuries from 2023:
1. Miscellaneous strains
People experience strains doing all kinds of things. Reaching for something when you slip? Yep. Trying to catch a falling object? Absolutely. Pushing or pulling heavy equipment? Most definitely. Even getting into and out of a vehicle can produce a painful strain.
Prevention techniques: Eliminating the hazard is always ideal. But if that’s not possible, focus on mitigation, like decreasing repetitive motion, wearing slip-resistant footwear, and moving heavy loads with equipment instead of manually.
2. Same-level fall
We’ve all been there: You’re walking without a care when all of a sudden you trip and fall. You quickly look around to see if there are witnesses. But a fall can cause more than embarrassment. Tripping on clutter in a hallway or an uneven surface can result in serious injury.
Prevention techniques: Housekeeping is nice at home, but it’s critical at work. Two easy ways to tidy your workspace is to clear clutter from walkways and keep floors dry, especially during slushy and rainy weather.
3. Lifting strains
Everyone says to lift with your legs, not with your back. But it’s easier said than done. Whether helping a neighbor move a couch, or moving a 50-pound bag of concrete, the strain on the back, neck and other body parts is real. Strains affect the soft tissues of the body, resulting in swelling, strained muscles, pinched nerves, ligament sprains or disc problems.
Prevention techniques: Incorporating ergonomic design principles in your workplace is the key to avoiding strains. Here’s how you can reduce exposure to awkward heavy objects and lift safely.
4. Struck by fellow worker
There are countless ways a worker could be struck by another object, like a coworker carrying a beam or dropping a sledgehammer. But most of these injuries are caused by trucks and other vehicles. A busy construction site with a several subcontractors is ripe for struck-by injuries.
Prevention techniques: Ensuring workers are highly visible with brightly colored vests and limiting access to the work area will keep many workers out of harm’s way.
5. Slip and fall on ice or snow
Colorado’s classic big snow followed by blinding sunshine produces a lot of icy surfaces, and anyone who’s fallen on ice can attest it feels like the hardest surface on the planet. No wonder a lot of Colorado workers are injured in this environment.
Prevention techniques: While slippery surfaces are tricky, workers can stay on their feet when they walk like a penguin. Employers should actively clear snow and ensure melting snow doesn’t refreeze over walking surfaces.
Highlighting the most common injuries of the year can feel grim, but proactively tackling the hazards will keep your employees safe and productive.
Pinnacol offers a variety of workplace safety training in 2024. Sign up for a session today!
Pinnacol Assurance assumes no responsibility for management or control of customer safety activities. Please ensure your business meets the requirements of all federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances related to workplace safety.