The Top 10 Causes of Work Related Injuries
Work is a place where you are supposed to do your job, earn your paycheck and return home at the end of the day. It should be a place where you feel safe and secure. However, it is not uncommon for a person to become injured while at work. In fact, workplace injuries are more common than you may think.
Each year, approximately three percent of employees in the American workforce suffer a work-related injury or illness. This is according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which also regularly releases data on the most-common causes of work-related injuries and fatalities. OSHA’s data indicate that the following are among the most common workplace accidents resulting in serious and fatal injuries:
- Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries are a type of cumulative trauma. They are caused by excessive repetition of small-range or micro tasks such as assembling small parts or typing or using a mouse at a computer. Workers doing repetitive tasks over a long period of time often sustain repetitive stress injuries, Injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, bursitis and tendonitis are all examples of repetitive stress injuries. These can be very debilitating injuries and often require refraining from the repetitive task for a significant period.
Employees should be trained in proper ergonomic work technics and provided ergonomically correct equipment, as well as break time, in order to prevent these injuries from happening.
When an employee is overworked due to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing objects, while on the job and sustains injuries. Back injuries and shoulder injuries are some of the more debilitating injuries we see in this category. A herniated disc in your back or torn rotator cuff in your shoulder can, depending on your job, result in prolonged and sometimes permanent disability from your employment. This is the leading cause of injury in the retail, healthcare, manufacturing, wholesale and transportation industries.
- Vehicle-Related Accidents
This is a just another way of saying car and truck accidents. Some jobs require employees to drive or work around moving vehicles. If a worker is involved in a car accident as a driver, passenger or pedestrian, then he or she may be eligible for worker’s compensation. Technologies such as lane departure warnings, collision detection sensors and air bag advances have all contributed to a reduction in crash related injuries.
- Machine Entanglement
Gears, rollers and other parts of heavy machinery can entrap workers and cause a variety of tearing and crushing injuries. In the worst cases, a worker may suffer a loss of limb or die from his or her injuries. Typically, loose clothing, shoes, jewelry, fingers or unbound hair getting caught in machinery causes this type of accident.
Employer should train workers to recognize and address potential entanglement hazards. The employer should also provide their employees with protective equipment and put up appropriate signs and barriers around potentially dangerous machinery.
- Running into Hazards
A worker who unintentionally runs into or gets pushed into a wall, door, window, machinery or a vehicle may suffer head, knee, neck or foot injury. Sometimes, these accidents happen because workers simply fail to pay attention to where they are going.
To reduce the risk of these accidents, companies should require workers to maintain a work environment that is free of clutter and where hazards and obstacles are clearly marked. Additionally, companies should have policies in place that prohibit workers from talking or texting on phones while engaged in work activity.
- Falling from Heights
Common causes of injuries in this category are falls from roofs, ladders, scaffolding, platforms, stairways and other raised or elevated surfaces. Falls are a leading cause of worker deaths in the construction industry. Every day, construction workers face the risk of falling from. These falls often are the products of poorly built structures and inadequate or improperly used safety equipment.
To prevent these accidents, OSHA requires fall protection for workers at who operate at certain heights or above certain types of dangerous equipment and machinery. Safety training and employee diligence can also reduce fall-related injuries.
- Falls on the Same Level
Injuries in this category result from falling on the same level as opposed to down stairs or off platforms. These types of falls commonly occur on ice, wet floors, or on rugs or mats. They can also include tripping over an object and falling to the ground. This is the leading cause of injury in the professional and business services and leisure and hospitality industries.
- Struck by an Object or Equipment
When items fall from above, they can land on an employee and cause injury. Workers in warehouses, retail stores, construction sites, as well as plumbers, electricians, and carpenters all have the potential to be injured from objects.
- Reaction Injuries
Even if a person does not fall to the ground, sometimes a person can be injured while trying to prevent themselves from hitting the floor. An injury from a reactionary fall can be just as debilitating as a fall to the ground. Injuries that occur when a person slips or trips, but does not fall typically include muscle strain or sprain caused by an impulsive action.
- Violent Acts on the Job
Violence can erupt from disputes that arise on the job between co-workers. A worker may also bring a domestic violence issue to the workplace. Workers who deal with the public, including delivery personnel, may face assaults from customers or others as well as attacks by dogs. Employers should provide violence training to their workforce, create communication channels for reporting suspicious activity and encourage such communications.
Workers’ Compensation for Job-Related Accidents
If you have been injured in any of these accidents (or any other type of workplace accident), you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injury-related losses. Workers’ compensation provides coverage for injured workers’ medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages (referred to as “disability”); and, in some cases, rehabilitation benefits are available as well.
Personal Injury Claims for Job-Related Accidents
In many cases, employees and independent contractors can file personal injury claims for injuries from work-related accidents as well. With a personal injury claim, you can seek full compensation for your injuries, including lost future income, pain and suffering, and other forms of economic and non-economic harm.
You may be entitled to full compensation for your on-the-job injury if:
- You are not eligible for workers’ compensation (either because you are an independent contractor or because your employer is exempt from your state’s workers’ compensation requirements);
- Someone other than your employer was at fault in the accident (such as a negligent driver, contractor, or subcontractor);
- You were injured in an accident involving a dangerous and defective product; or
- Your employer intentionally caused your injury or denied your workers’ compensation claim in bad faith.
Should You Speak with an Attorney?
If you have been injured in an accident at work, it is important to make sure you understand not only your legal rights, but also the obligations that come with them. While most employers carry workers’ compensation insurance, there are strict rules and timelines for maintaining your benefits eligibility. But 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. If you have a personal injury claim for any of the most common workplace accidents, you need to avoid critical mistakes in order to win the compensation you deserve.
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. Call our attorneys today at 1-877-241-9554 to discuss your case. The consultation is absolutely free.