Workplace Injuries on the Rise in Kansas

A lot more of us are getting hurt on the job.

A recent report shows workplace injuries went up more than four-percent last year. More than 69,000 Kansans were hurt on the job last year. The most common injuries were strains, with nearly 13,500 reported, followed by lacerations and contusions.

Stormont-Vail WorkCare Dr. Dale Garrett says knowing what's around you is the first step in staying safe. He says be aware of any uneven grads, like rock or gravel. Also, pay attention to any sort of steps - a simple fall of three or four feet can make you sprain an ankle, twist a knee or torque your back.

Even being aware won't help if you move the wrong way. Preventing the number one workplace injury -- strains -- means using proper lifting techniques. Dr. Garrett says the correct way to lift is with the legs, not the back. He says avoid twisting when carrying something and avoid an uneven workload -- center the weight.

Dr. Garrett says even a workplace that might appear relatively risk free, like an office, can do damage over time. He says ergonomics are important. He says you should keep your body in a neutral position, use good posture and have a proper work station, with the height of the chair, the position of the keyboard and the distance of the monitor all set correctly.

Dr. Garrett says the increase in workplace injuries could involve several factors. He says people are working longer hours with less sleep, which might make them less focused; more migrant workers might create language barriers in proper training; and an aging workforce might be more susceptible to injury.

One other tip for preventing injuries -- get regular exercise to stay in shape.

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
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