From machines and medical equipment to food processing and beer brewing, manufacturing is one of the five largest industries in the St. Paul metro area. Workers in the private manufacturing sector experienced 15% of total nonfatal workplace injuries in 2019 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Review the common hazards for manufacturing employees to protect yourself on the job.
Sprains, strains and tears
This category represented 28% of the injuries reported in BLS data, making it by far the most common type of injury for manufacturing employees. Practice ergonomic lifting techniques to shield your muscles from stress. For example, lift heavy objects with your knees rather than your back, and ask for help when you need it.
In addition to acute injuries, you may develop repetitive stress associated with factory work. Chronic pain occurs when you make the same motions over and over, putting undue wear and tear on the body.
This category includes slip-and-fall injuries at work as well as injuries that occur because of a fall from a high place. Both types of falls can result in traumatic brain injury, broken bones and other disabling injuries.
Take care when using ladders, catwalks and platforms. Always wear a hard hat and fall protection gear when you climb off the ground. Reduce the risk for slipping by keeping the work floor clear and reporting hazards right away.
If you do get hurt at work, you can apply for benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation policy. In Minnesota, this program covers lost wages, medical expenses and vocational training for eligible injured employees.