Common Workplace Injuries
Most people at least attempt to be safe, especially at work. Unfortunately, accidents do happen. In fact, injuries in the workplace are, unfortunately, a relatively common occurrence. Each job comes with its own individual hazards and risks, and it is as much the employer’s responsibility to ensure proper health and safety procedures are followed as it is the employee’s.
In addition, there are safety regulations in place to ensure that workers have a safe workplace, like Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Workplace injuries often entitle victims to significant compensation for their losses, so it is important for anyone hurt on the job to have an attorney review the facts of his or her case. This compensation can come in the form of settlement, lost wages, or medical bills.
What is a Work Injury?
A work-related injury is an injury that is caused by one’s work tasks or that results from the performance of their described job duties. Work injuries can include injuries that happen over a long period of time, or injuries that result from one incident.
In addition, some work-related injuries such as occupational stress may involve psychological or emotional injury. These can often be the subject of a claim, although the claimant is more likely to succeed if they also have physical manifestations of injury that were caused by the psychological factors.
Here are some of the top most common causes of workplace injuries:
Slips, Trips and Falls
Slips, trips and falls account for approximately one-third of all workplace injuries and can happen at anytime, anywhere. Whether you work in a shop, factory or office, you are bound to encounter slippery surfaces at some point so the odd trip or slip is, unfortunately, inevitable. Workers who sustain these types of injuries often suffer from head and back injuries, fractures, lacerations, sprains, and pulled muscles.
Working from height can be particularly hazardous when it comes to suffering these injuries. For builders and tradesmen who rely on ladders, scaffolding and other platforms in their work, falling from height can be especially dangerous and potentially even fatal. It will therefore probably come as no surprise that trades like these often require workers to complete vigorous health and safety training. Good housekeeping, wearing the proper footwear and paying attention to where you are going can prevent many of these injuries.
Cuts and Lacerations
These injuries are some of the most common in the workplace. Any equipment and sharp office equipment can cause a painful cut to the worker. In companies that use electric saws such as refrigerators and sawmills, workers are likely to suffer these injuries. Often, the reason behind these injuries comes as a result of poor training, a lack of concentration or a failure to use adequate protection. Employers should therefore put procedures in place to limit the likelihood of these injuries happening.
Repetitive Strain Injuries
Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) occur over a period of time rather than as a result of a single incident. Defined as an injury caused due to repetitive use, vibrations, compression or long periods in a fixed position, these injuries often arise after years or even decades of using the body in a particular way and can affect people in virtually any industry. Common examples of RSIs include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, tennis elbow, trigger finger and focal dystonia. As a result, anyone who has been diagnosed with a repetitive strain injury should consider the possibility that the injury was a result of working conditions and should discuss it with an attorney.
One of the best ways to avoid RSI comes through simply taking breaks on a regular basis. Ergonomic equipment like office chairs, keyboards and computer mice can also be bought to alleviate the pain.
Struck by Moving Machinery
When body parts get caught in or struck by machinery without protective guards, the results are often devastating. Machinery-related injuries occurring in the workplace can result in crushed hands and arms, severed fingers or limbs, and blindness. Looking the wrong way and colliding with a car, lorry or forklift can have seriously nasty consequences, requiring substantial periods of time off work.
Injuries involving machinery can be prevented by eliminating hazards providing employees with proper training and protective clothing. Employers should do all they can to ensure proper safety precautions are followed. They should make sure all workers wear seat belts when driving and never drive intoxicated.
Fire and Explosions
Faulty gas lines, poor pipefitting, improperly stored combustibles, and open flames can lead to fires and explosions in the workplace. The resulting injuries, which include severe burns, damage to the respiratory system, and disfigurement can be potentially prevented by requiring employees to wear personal protective equipment at all times.
Working excessively until exhaustion every day can lead to severe injuries and even death. Excessive effort is considered one of the main causes of workers’ injuries. Carrying weights constantly as well as lifting, pushing or pulling very heavy equipment or objects causes long-term injuries. The most frequent injuries due to overexertion are sprains and strains. Also musculoskeletal disorders in the back. Similarly, excessive intellectual work leads to extreme exhaustion of the person. Then, after a while it can cause a serious illness.
Sitting down all day can cause significant weight gain. This is because your body is not releasing the energy it normally would when you are moving about. The weight you gain from sitting down all day can then, in turn, lead to a whole host of other health-related issues.
From metabolic syndrome and myocardial infarction, to asthma and plantar fasciitis, long periods of inactivity while working could seriously affect your physical health, so get up and moving as regularly as possible. Otherwise, you could require surgery or a specialist diagnostic procedure to identify any potential issues at hand. For those with restricted mobility, you can also use special chairs.
Loud Noise Exposure
The decrease in the ability to listen caused by certain jobs is more frequent than we think. Deafness is caused by permanent exposure to noise in airports, industrial plants, discos, bars and other places. Strong and permanent noises can lead to progressive hearing loss. If safety measures are not implemented and adequate protective equipment is not used, the result is permanent deafness.
Inhalation of Toxic Fumes
Workers in the chemical industry (oil, perfumery, pharmaceutical) may be at risk of suffering these accidents and injuries. Warehouse workers with chemical deposits (diluents, reagents and more.) may also suffer skin and eye reactions.
In addition to these reactions, toxic gases can also cause asthma, dermatitis and poisoning. To avoid these injuries it is necessary to wear masks, gloves, glasses and appropriate clothing and other industrial protective equipment. Employers are obliged to provide the necessary protective equipment.
Our California Workplace Injury Lawyer is Here to Help
Although there’s no shortage of ways people can injure themselves at work, there are various things employers can do to prevent their employees from coming to any avoidable harm. Good training, clear signage and access to the necessary safety equipment can all be a big help. Regular risk assessments are also a very good idea. You can’t always legislate for sheer absent-mindedness, but you can at least avoid a lot of unnecessary mishaps.
If you have been injured on the job site, the law office of Brent A. Duque is here to help you recover the compensation you deserve for the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of a workplace injury. Our accident attorneys are proud to serve the needs of workplace and construction accident victims and their families who have suffered the injury or wrongful death of a loved one in a workplace accident. Workers compensation may not be nearly enough; you may need a personal injury attorney to help you receive the help you need when injured on the job. Call our attorneys today at 1-877-241-9554 to discuss your case. The consultation is absolutely free.