In 50 years, the partnership between OSHA, state agencies, and employers has helped reduce worker injuries and illnesses. The numbers dropped from 10.9 per 100 workers in 1972 to 2.7 per 100 in 2022. Deaths decreased from about 38 per day in 1972 to 15 per day in 2022. Ten common violations remain prevalent and are top on OSHA’s list for causing occupational health issues.

  • Eye and face protection
  • Failure to communicate workplace hazards
  • Falls
  • Industrial trucks like forklifts
  • Lack of fall protection training
  • Ladders
  • Lockouts/tag outs that control hazardous energy
  • Machinery and machine guards
  • Respiratory protection
  • Scaffolding

Whether you love or hate it, your job is important. It provides the income you need for your home, your household expenses, the clothes you wear, the food you eat, etc. What happens if your job impacts your health and wellness? Occupational health (OH) is a branch of health care designed to help you stay safe and healthy at work. 

Understanding What Occupational Health Covers

The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 set rules that employers must follow to ensure safe and healthy working conditions. They include:

  • An environment that’s free of hazards like exposure to toxic chemicals and infectious agents
  • An environment that’s free from excessive noise levels
  • An environment that’s free of mechanical dangers
  • An environment that limits heat or cold stress
  • An environment that’s free of conditions that are likely to cause serious harm or death

Employees are responsible for making sure they use the safety equipment that’s provided to them. They also must follow workplace health and safety standards that are taught to them.

Common Workplace Injuries

What are some of the most common workplace hazards? They fall into four main categories.


Biological issues include things like exposure to pathogens in a lab. You might have a co-worker who has norovirus and comes in sick, which spreads the disease to others. Bacterial contamination may make you sick, often due to improper cleaning schedules in workplace bathrooms. You could also be exposed to mold and mildew from a leaking roof or AC ducts that desperately need attention.


With ergonomic issues, your work involves having to bend or twist into awkward positions that put a strain on your joints and muscles. You constantly lift heavy items and are experiencing muscle strain. You might experience repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, from performing the same movements over and over.


Physical injuries include slip and fall injuries caused by ice on a loading dock or puddles on a workplace floor. You’re on a manufacturing line where you constantly breathe in the fumes from melting plastic pellets or spray paint fumes without effective ventilation. 

You might work outside in the hot sun without having enough water or rest breaks. You could also be the person who loads luggage onto planes, and the engine noises are too loud for the ear protection you’re given. Radiation exposure is another example of a physical injury.


Finally, there are psychological issues that cause anxiety, depression, or other problems that impact your psychological health. It might be a demanding work schedule where you’ve worked overtime for two straight weeks. You experience constant time crunches and tight deadlines and get issued warnings if you don’t keep up with the fast pace, which causes anxiety. You might also experience demeaning or abusive management practices.

Protections You Can Take

In most situations, providing workers with PPE and other safety equipment is something employers need to do. If you don’t have the equipment you need to stay safe, speak up. OSHA is there for complaints if your employer isn’t following safety protocols.

If you see a problem, immediately report it. A water leak that’s causing puddles to form on the floor could lead to a slip and fall. The leak needs to be addressed, and the puddle needs to be cleaned up. Wet floor signs need to be placed as a warning. Sparking wires on electrical controls require immediate repairs. Don’t continue to work if you feel it’s dangerous.

Are you sick? Stay home. Don’t go to work with the flu, COVID, or another virus. Make sure you get all necessary vaccinations that help prevent the spread of disease and keep you safe. If you work in a healthcare setting, you should get vaccinated for anything the hospital or medical practice recommends, including Hep B, the flu, and RSV. If you are sick, go to a Fresno urgent care to get any forms your employer requires to give you extended time off as you recover.

The best employers know that wellness is more than avoiding diseases. Your mental health is important, too. If you’re dealing with excessive stress, anxiety, or depression, seek medical care. Sometimes, a personal day where you have no stressful 

If management uses abusive tactics and instills fear into the employees, tell HR or whoever you’re supposed to report harassment to. As an employee, knowing your rights against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation is important. If your employer isn’t taking your complaint seriously, seek guidance from the California Labor Commissioner’s Office.

Finally, go to a clinic offering occupational health care services if you’re injured. Don’t hope it goes away on its own. Ignoring something like a torn muscle or a blow to the head isn’t okay. You could find the problem worsens. 

Injuries in the workplace must be reported to OSHA within 24 hours. If your company hasn’t done this, reach out to OSHA. Your family members can reach out to you if you’re unable to. 

Seek Medical Care

You must see a doctor ASAP. It starts a paper trail that helps prove your case if you have to file a claim against your company. Plus, you prevent an injury from worsening.

If your injury is going to keep you out of work for an extended period, short-term disability is something your employer pays into, so those benefits are available. Your medical bills should also be covered by your employer. 

Fresno-area employees can go to Premium Urgent Care for immediate care for health issues like sprains, cuts, neck injuries, minor bone breaks, and burns. The doctors at the Fresno urgent care clinic can stitch cuts, clean a puncture wound, and prevent scrapes from becoming infected. If you need a tetanus shot after getting a cut, we can help. We also offer all other vaccinations, DOT physicals, and work-related physicals.

Visit us online to schedule a telemedicine appointment for appointments that are possible via video chat. If you need to come into the clinic, check in online and complete the health care forms online to save time.