29% of non-fatal injuries to employees were caused by slips, trips and falls
To further ease the pain of returning to work this January, make sure you and your team are prepared for a winter workplace accident. Darker mornings and evenings, wet and slippery floors and ice and snow on path ways, can all increase the risk of accidents. In 2016/17, the majority of non-fatal injuries to employees (29%) were caused by slips, trips and falls.*
Tracey Taylor, first aid education development manager looks at the most common winter related injuries that can occur in the workplace and how you can help.
Slips and trips commonly result in a sprains, strains or even broken bones.
Sprains and strains
Sprains and strains describe when muscles or joints are overstretched which can be painful.
So what should you do to help someone in this situation?
If your colleague trips and falls they could twist their ankle or wrist or overstretch a muscle in their shoulder, back or leg. Sprains or strains are usually swollen and painful and can sometimes bruise. You should take the following steps:
- Get the person to rest.
- Apply an ice pack to the injury - This will help to reduce the pain and swelling.
- If there is no improvement, advise them to seek medical advice.
Broken bones can happen as a result of a fall if someone falls from a height or if they land in an awkward position.
Someone who has a broken bone will usually have pain, swelling and bruising, and may have difficulty moving their limb. If you suspect your colleague has a broken bone, you should take the following steps:
- Encourage them to support the injury with their hand, or use a cushion or items of clothing to prevent unnecessary movement - Supporting the injury may help to reduce pain and prevent further damage
- Arrange for the person to go to hospital. Call 999 if necessary.
- Continue supporting the injury until help arrives.
How can learning first aid help?
If someone is injured or becomes suddenly ill at work, there is no greater act of human kindness, than a person with the skills and confidence to step in and provide first aid support.
Our interactive first aid work courses give you the skills and confidence to respond to a range of first aid emergencies, including helping someone who has a bone, muscle or joint injury.
* Health and Safety Executive Health and Safety at Work Summary Statistics for Great Britain 2017