The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2018, there were almost 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in the U.S. As of the same year, Georgia’s numbers were statistically less than the national rate. For those who work in the manufacturing industry, injuries dropped from 3.5 to 3.4 per 100 full-time workers between 2017 and 2018. Georgia statistics show 2.8 per 100 full-time workers in 2018.
These statistics focus on the number of injuries, but what types of injuries warrant these numbers, and which injuries are the most common in the manufacturing industry? In the U.S. in 2018, motor vehicle manufacturing had the highest rate of occupational injuries and illnesses in that business sector. With over 300 automotive-related facilities in Georgia, industrial accidents at those plants are a frequent source of workplace injuries. Assembly line workers are susceptible to three types of injuries, in particular.
Factory and assembly line work may sometimes involve a high level of strength and stamina. Many employees have to stay on their feet and lift heavy objects for several hours. These people run the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. Types of disorders include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Muscle and tendon strains
- Tension neck syndrome
- Rotator cuff tendonitis
- Repetitive stress injuries
Assembly line workers may perform the same task over and over again. Repetitive stress injuries involve a gradual buildup of damage to muscles, tendons and nerves. They commonly affect wrists, hands, elbows, and the neck and shoulders. A worker may experience tingling, numbness, weakness, stiffness or swelling.
- Contact with heavy machinery and other equipment
Some factory workers may come in contact with heavy machinery as a part of their regular job. When working close to moving parts, a person’s hand or fingers may get caught in the machine. Mishandling of equipment may lead to loss of limbs or crush injuries.