Workplace Injury In The Workplace

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Workplace injuries are primarily responsible for a large number of workers being absent at work and disability. The occurrence of workplace injury varies from the occupation and the industry of the worker. There are many risk factors that are associated with workplace injuries such as age, experience, shift work, consumption of alcohol, fatigue etc. (Swaen et al. 2002). 1. Fatigue: Fatigue is classified as a task related factor (Hsiao & Simenov 2001). This suggests that given tasks that are being done at different duration and intensities can result to fatigue. Consequently workers ability in processing perceptive and visual information that is related to incident avoidance during work is decreased due to fatigue. Furthermore, fatigue can have different factors of origin that is influenced by non work related situations and the individuals characteristics which then affects the workers ability and performance during work (Swaen et al. 2002). 2. Shift Work: The introduction of shift work mainly depends on safety and productivity of the workers being maintained. However, evidence suggests that safety and productivity of workers may decline at night shifts with more hours on duty between breaks. The shift work system can be improved by introducing more rest breaks (Folkard & Tucker 2003). 3. Noise (Noise induced hearing loss NIHL): Another occupational hazard that contributes to workplace injury is excessive noise. Excessive noise may have adverse effects, which include, high blood pressure, stress, reduced performance and noise induced hearing loss. While there are other factors contributing to NIHL, the shortage of prevention is a high contributor. Engineering controls is one way of reducing noise at its source (Nelson et al. 20... ... middle of paper ... ... al. 1999) the estimated cost to society is 2-14% in various countries. In developing countries, the mortality rate caused by workplace injuries is higher due to the fact that the workers are faced with a higher number and numerous hazards. In addition, in developing countries there are less resources for the prevention, rehabilitation and treatment of workplace injuries (Concha-Barrientos et al. 2005). In rare occurrences workplace injury leads to death while the majority of injuries are minor. The national OHS strategy 2002-2012 by the Australian government has set a target to reduce fatality rate by 20% over the decade. The data from Safe Work Australia statistical report 2009-2010, shows a 10% decrease over 5 years to 2008, an increase in 2009 and a decrease in 2010 (Graph 1). The increase in 2008-2009 was among 15-24 years age group with 95% being male workers.

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