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Tips for avoiding 7 common workplace injuries

You desperately want to avoid injury on the job. It's not just about you. You have a family to support. Money is tight enough as it is, with three kids at home, and you can't spend months missing work. You can't pay high medical bills or lose future wages when your injuries are so severe that you can't go back to your career.

If that sounds like you, just take a moment to consider these seven common workplace injuries and tips to avoid them.

1. Falls.

Always wear fall protection gear when necessary. Even falls from just a few feet can lead to serious injuries. Don't overlook the upsides of proper safety equipment.

2. Overexertion.

Many people are surprised to learn that this causes more annual injuries than falls. Don't overdo it. Don't push yourself too hard just to impress your boss. Know what your body can handle and what you can do -- like learning how to lift properly with your legs -- to prevent injury.

3. Being hit by objects.

This could be a threat on a construction site, for instance, if a tool falls from above and lands on you. If you're working at a height, always protect others by securing all tools and supplies. If you're working on the ground, wear a hardhat and be aware of the risks.

4. Slipping and falls.

Even if you don't fall from a height, a simple slip can bring about life-changing injuries. Always clean up, work in areas with plenty of lighting, and be careful on stairs, wet surfaces, and the like.

5. Repetition.

Doing the same thing over and over is not good for the body. It puts extra strain on very specific muscles, tendons and bones. However, many jobs mean you can't avoid repetition -- such as typing on the computer. Understand when you're feeling fatigued and when you need a break to avoid injury.

6. Machinery injuries.

Working around heavy machinery brings on a lot of risks. Every year, workers get caught in machines or struck by them. Always follow your training, wear safe attire, and work carefully around these machines. Complacency is often an issue as workers do the same job so often that they forget how dangerous machines are.

7. Car accidents.

Auto accidents are a huge cause of injury overall, and that doesn't change at work. Observe the speed limit, drive carefully, and drive defensively. Don't rush, even if a job is running behind.

Unfortunately, even using these tips does not guarantee that you're never going to suffer an injury on the job. Keep your family in mind. Be sure you know what legal workers' compensation rights you have and what steps to take after the injury, no matter how it occurred.

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