Thousands of employees are injured in the workplace every year. Some injuries are minor and require little attention, while others are severe and life-threatening. According to a article, “occupational injuries and illnesses cost companies nationwide an estimated $250 billion.” This figure is provided by Stacey Johnson, a field director of risk control for The Travelers Companies, Inc. She also offers some tips on how to avoid the most common workplace injuries:

One way to avoid injuries among employees is training. Job training takes time and money, Johnson said, but it is worth it because it helps employees better understand their responsibilities.

Properly identifying employees’ responsibilities and roles is another safeguard employers should take, Johnson said, so employees know how the job can be done safely. Doing so also helps companies determine if job candidates fit the criteria, she said.

What to do when an injury occurs

In the event you do get injured at work, do you know where to turn? California has plenty of hospital emergency rooms and urgent care facilities. Although both can help you address a medical problem, each serves a completely different purpose.

Emergency rooms

ERs are generally meant for patients with life-threatening conditions. They are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A head trauma, a serious wound that causes significant blood loss, or chest pain that causes shortness of breath are all examples of injuries and conditions that merit a trip to the ER. Since ERs prioritize the most urgent cases, a patient with an injury that is not life-threatening might have to wait a long time before he or she is attended to.

Urgent care centers

Most urgent care centers are open during the evening or weekend, so you can go to one even after your regular doctor’s office has closed. These facilities are not designed to deal with serious medical situations. Nevertheless, a Redwood City urgent care center like the one run by U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group is the place to go if an ER keeps you waiting.

It pays to be prepared, so before an injury can happen, think about medical care options in your area and have a plan in place. Contact a walk-in clinic in Redwood City to learn more about the types of injuries they can handle.

(Article Excerpt and Image from How to avoid the most common workplace injuries, The Business Journals, November 5, 2013)