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The Top 5 injuries at work revealed

By Chris Douglas
Assistant Claims Manager

Since 2007 our RIDDOR Minor Injury Management Service has treated over 3500 people who work for our policyholders, enabling them to get back to work 29% more quickly than would otherwise be expected and allowing our policyholders to consequently reduce the cost of work related absences.

For today`s blog we have looked at the data for all the injuries we`ve treated and found the five most common injuries that lead to absences from the work place. It’s not surprising that most of the top five are of a slips, trips, sprains and strains nature given that these types of injuries accounts for 70% of QBE’s Employer's Liability claims.

So here they are in order!

1 Lower Back
This is the most common injury and can be caused by many different factors such as poor posture, degenerative changes and ineffective manual handling techniques. The back is complex and every joint needs to remain in an optimum position to work effectively. Sadly, modern lifestyle doesn`t help us maintain this delicate balance and this leads to muscles strains, ligament sprains and disc related issues.

2 Shoulder Impingement or Tear
The shoulder is formed through the interplay of many joints, ligaments and muscles leaving it vulnerable to many different problems. A fall can cause a full tear or change the mechanical structures leading to muscles and ligaments becoming pinched. Our next blog plans to look at how medical professionals treat shoulder and back issues, which are not only the most common, but the most challenging to treat!

3 Ankle Sprain
A sprain of the ankle is a result of damage to the anterior talofibular and posterior talofibular ligaments on the outside of the foot. It is usually caused by misplacement of the foot on uneven ground, fall from height or high impact trauma causing the ankle to roll outwards. This places excessive force through the ligament leading to a tear.

4 Wrist or Hand Fracture/Injury
The wrist is made up of eight bones that allow the multitude of movements that we take for granted every day. When we fall we naturally try to use our hands to protect ourselves, which means our wrist takes the full force of the fall causing a fracture or injury. As most jobs require the dexterity of our hands, sufferers can require 4-6 weeks off work and possibly physiotherapy to be able to return to their workplace.

5 Tear of the Meniscus 
Our meniscus work to protect our knees from unnecessary damage that would lead to arthritis by smoothing the motion of the knee. A tear is caused by a twisting or sudden stop leading to the femur grinding into the tibia. Unlike our muscles or ligaments the meniscus doesn`t have a very good blood supply, which means our body cannot repair the damage on it's own. The ongoing pain means sufferers are unable to return to work and may need surgical intervention to repair the damage.