There are countless hazards lurking in the workplace that can make your job a danger to your physical and mental health. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 2.9 million workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private companies last year. The more than 750,000 injuries and illnesses reported by government agencies further bolster the staggering statistics that show just how widespread serious workplace accidents are.
Whether you work in a cubicle or on a construction site, knowing what the most common workplace injuries are and how they happen can help prevent them from occurring in the first place. Some of the most common workplace injuries include:
Falls to lower levels
A fall from heights can occur when a worker is on a roof, ladder, stairway, scaffolding, or other overhead platform. It can also occur when a worker falls into a hole in the ground. It’s the employer’s responsibility to provide guardrails and toe boards on elevated workstations and, depending on the job, safety harnesses and lines, safety nets, stair railings, and handrails.
Repetitive motion injuries
Repetitive motion injuries occur from performing the same task or activity repeatedly throughout the workday. The condition mostly affects the upper body including the forearms and elbows, wrists and hands, and neck and shoulders. Employers have a responsibility to try to prevent these injuries by providing employee training, ergonomic equipment, and frequent breaks.
Those who drive for business, such as people who make sales calls, are often injured in car accidents. It’s the employer’s responsibility to mitigate the risk of auto accidents in the course of employment by providing employee training and safe-driving policies. Workers injured in car accidents when driving for work-related purposes may file for workers’ compensation to pay for lost wages and medical bills.
Slips/trips and falls
Slip and Fall accidents on a wet floor, cracked sidewalk, broken stair, or cluttered walking path is the second most common cause of workplace injuries. While employees need to keep watch for hazardous walking surfaces, employers are responsible for establishing guidelines to make sure spills are promptly cleaned and that the work environment is free from debris.
This type of injury often occurs in factories, plants, and agricultural territories where heavy machinery and equipment are used. Loose clothing, hair, and shoelaces can all be caught in moving machinery parts and can result in severe tissue loss, blindness, disfigurement, amputation, and even death. Employee training and protective equipment are crucial to avoiding these tragic injuries.
Overexertion is the most common cause of non-fatal workplace injuries, and it’s the second leading cause of missed work (after the common cold). It encompasses all injuries related to excessive physical effort, including pulling, lifting, holding, pushing, carrying, and throwing heavy objects at work. Overexertion injuries commonly appear in the lower back and can cause long-term pain.
Have you been injured in a workplace accident?
Regardless of how careful you may be when performing your job duties, accidents happen. When they do, it’s comforting to know that you and your family are protected under workers’ compensation.
At the Law Offices of Gerald D. Brody & Associates, we specialize in helping injured employees collect the benefits they need to recover and get back to work. Whether you’ve suffered one of the common workplace injuries mentioned above or have a more complex situation, our attorneys will fight hard on your behalf to ensure you receive every last penny you’re entitled to. Call us today to schedule your free consultation. You’ll be glad you did.