If someone asked you to think of dangerous jobs, what would you think of? Professional race car drivers? Search and rescue responders? Construction workers? You may be surprised to know that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in the manufacturing industry experienced the second-highest number of work-related illnesses and injuries in 2018, second only to healthcare workers. You may also be surprised at what is considered a manufacturing job. If you work in a bakery, a dental lab, a custom jewelry store, a clothing alterations shop, or a furniture upholstery business you count as part of the manufacturing industry.
A common source of injury in manufacturing facilities is surprisingly simple. Falling or tripping in the workplace is one of the most frequent injuries in a manufacturing environment. Tripping over unsecured cords, production debris, spilled liquids or misplaced equipment can cause minor injuries such as lacerations, sprains and strains or more severe injuries such as broken bones and head injuries.
Another common source of injury in manufacturing facilities can be one of the most dangerous. If you have a job which requires working with lubricants, solvents, or chemicals of any kind you could be at risk for rashes, skin burns, and even breathing problems. It’s important to make sure that you seek medical care for any unusual medical conditions that you experience when working with industrial chemical products.
If you work in a position that requires the use of machinery you could be at risk for injuries ranging from puncture wounds and bruises to crush injuries and even more severe things like unexpected loss of limbs. Making sure that you have the appropriate training before being asked to use equipment could not only protect yourself but could protect your co-workers as well.
Both employers and employees should insist on safe work areas and adequate training, even when cleaning and continued training may slow down productivity. Maintaining safe work conditions and providing necessary training for material handling and equipment use can decrease or even eliminate the risk of injury or illness in the workplace. Otherwise employees could be at risk for a wide variety of injuries or illnesses while working in the manufacturing industry.
If you have experienced an injury or illness while working as part of this broad industry, you may have experienced wage loss or unexpected medical bills. Filing a workers’ compensation claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission could help. The claims process isn’t always easy but protecting your rights is critically important. By doing so you can not only take care of yourself but help to take care of your family as well.