Men are rugged, tough, and never get hurt, right? Though you may feel that way, it’s not true. Even the most physically fit men are still prone to accidents and injuries, whether around the house or on the job. The more you know about accidents, the better you can prevent them.
How to Avoid Accidents on the Job
- Office Jobs
It may sound silly to you that you can get injured in a cubicle, but believe it or not, there are some accidents and injuries that can happen in the relatively safety of the office environment:
- Trips and Falls – Anything can cause a slip or fall; a box of materials laid out in an aisle, dangling cords, or liquid spilled on linoleum. To avoid injuries, never leave boxes or other materials in walkways, pick up cords, and mop up spills (even if it’s not your job). Don’t read or text and try to walk at the same time. A major fall could leave you laid up for weeks, even if you’re in a good shape.
- Computer-Related Problems – If you sit at a computer all day, your eyes, wrists, and neck could suffer. Staring at a computer for long periods of time can cause eye strain. To avoid this, force yourself to blink and look around the room every few minutes. To avoid neck and wrist injury, be sure your workstation is ergonomically correct.
- Musculoskeletal Injuries – Even office workers have to lift sometimes. Whether it’s the 10-gallon water jug or a box of office supplies, remember to lift with your legs. If it’s too heavy, get a hand truck. Trying to prove you’re Hercules isn’t worth throwing out your back.
- Outdoor Jobs
Guys who do outdoor jobs have to be especially careful not to get injured on the job. The most common outdoor job injuries include:
1. Head Injuries – To avoid head injuries, pay attention to where you’re walking and working. If you’re supposed to wear protective headgear, wear it. You’re not above accidents, no matter how young and untouchable or mature and experienced you are.
2. Loss of Limb – Take the time to really understand the tools you’re working with. Also, get plenty of rest when off the job. Lack of sleep can lead to attention problems, which can lead to loss of limb.
3. Eye Injuries/Blinding – If you’re supposed to be wearing protective goggles, wear them. Be sure you completely understand the kind of chemicals you’re using and how to use them before working with them. Eye injuries are serious. You only get one pair per lifetime.
4. Broken Bones – Broken bones can be the result of trips, slips, falls or something falling on top of you. If a job requires two people, don’t try to go it alone. Also, wearing the right equipment and staying alert can go a long way in preventing these types of injuries.
5. Burns – If you’re working with flammable chemicals or fire, make sure you stay alert and wear the correct protective clothing and equipment. Always store and use chemicals according to their directions. Oil-soaked rags should be placed in metal containers, not left lying around the job site.
6. Hearing Loss – If you’re a guy who works around loud noises all day, your chances of developing hearing loss are greatly increased. Be sure to always wear earplugs correctly each time you use or are around loud equipment.
7. Raynaud’s Syndrome – Raynaud’s syndrome is a circulatory condition often experienced by construction workers who regularly use vibrating tools. Men can help prevent Raynaud’s syndrome from occurring by massaging and exercising their fingers and hands during breaks.
8. Back Injuries – Men can easily avoid back injuries by using proper equipment and smart lifting techniques. If you think you can’t lift something on your own, don’t be ashamed to ask a co-worker to give you a hand.
9. Chemical Poisoning – These types of injuries rarely result from drinking actual poison. However, inhaling certain chemicals on the job can lead to upper respiratory and neurological problems. When working with chemicals, be sure you completely understand how to use them and always follow proper handling procedure. Wear a face mask, goggles, and gloves whenever necessary.
10. Overexertion/Muscle Strain – This can happen at any type of job. To avoid overexertion and muscle strain, it’s important to use proper lifting and reaching techniques on the job site.
How to Avoid Injuries around the House
If you’ve ever heard the old saying, “Most accidents happen in the home”, it’s true. When you’re at home, you feel safe and you have your guard down. After all, your home is your castle, how could it cause you an injury? The most common household accidents that affect men include:
- Burns – If you’re cooking, cook. Don’t try to split your attention between talking on the phone, watching TV, and burping the baby. When you’re distracted, you’re much more likely to get burned. Also, use pot holders when handling food coming off the stove or out of the oven (even if they’re pink). A simple cooking accident can mean a trip to the hospital and time off you can’t afford.
- Electrocution – When working around wires outside the house, wear rubber-soled shoes and use a wooden stepladder. Always cut off the power when working on equipment. Don’t overload circuits. If you encounter an electrical fire, NEVER use water to put it out. This is how you should handle an electrical fire. If any of your cords are frayed, replace them immediately.
- Trips/Falls – Trips and falls are among the most common household injuries and they’re easy to avoid. Be sure you have good lighting in your home, especially where there are trip hazards. Cluttered hallways are another common cause of trips and falls. Never stack boxes or other belonging in high-traffic areas. Stairs should have non-slip carpet installed with railings on both sides, if possible.
- Cuts – You’ve done it before. You’re in the kitchen cutting up a carrot, you look away for a second and you’ve suddenly cut your thumb. The best way to avoid these types of cuts is to pay attention. Focus on what you’re cutting, not on the television or your children. You can respond without taking your eyes off your work.
How to Avoid Recreational Injuries
Even when you’re having fun, you can still get hurt. This doesn’t mean you should bike ride in a rubber suit, but it’s important to use the right gear for the right type of play. For example, if you’re a cyclist, wear a helmet. If you boat, wear a flotation device, even if you’re a champion swimmer. If you hike, take some food and emergency supplies and tell at least one person where you’ll be and when you’ll be back. There’s nothing silly about being safe.
Another reason men get injured during recreational activities is they lack the fitness level required for the activity. Your buddies are up for a new challenge so you go along, unprepared. If you’re going to try something new, read up on it a bit. Watch some videos. Get in shape for it. Otherwise, you might end up laid up with a strain or broken bone.
Accidents and injuries can happen anywhere. When you take the time to learn about accidents and how to prevent them, you can get the most out of life. Universally, the best way to prevent injuries is to get plenty of rest each night so you can stay alert during the day. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”