The prevalence of work-related injuries and fatalities has decreased in the past few years thanks to increased safety measures. While this is true, these situations still occur, and there is still work to do.
If you are injured on the job, you have rights. One right is to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, recovering these benefits is not always easy. If you need assistance with your claim, our Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. legal team is here to help.
When it comes to workplace accidents, the most common include slips, trips, falls, contact with equipment or machinery, and overexertion. Fortunately, most of these injuries are preventable, however they do still occur. Here you can learn more about the most common work-related injuries and find some guidelines to prevent them.
Remember, if you are a workplace accident and injury victim, don’t wait to contact a workers’ compensation attorney and seek medical treatment. This will help you avoid issues and complications in the future.
Common Workplace Injuries
Here you will find some of the most commonly occurring workplace accidents.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Some of the most common types of workplace injuries that occur today are caused by slips, trips, and falls. In fact, this is the most commonly cited reason for workers’ compensation claims.
Workers who experience these types of injuries can suffer all types of injuries. Some of the common causes of slips, trips, and falls on the job include:
- Falling off ladders, skyscraper construction sites, roofs, etc.
- Tripped because of unprotected holes or sides, clutter, or poor lighting
- Slipped on a wet, oily, or icy floor
All these accidents can be prevented. A worker must always remain aware of their surroundings. They should also follow the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) fall protection recommendations and requirements.
If you work in a job where these types of accidents are possible, it is important to know what you can do to prevent them. Even when your injuries seem minor, they may have ongoing consequences.
Muscle Strains and Overexertion Injuries
Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) and overexertion injuries, including muscle strains, can result in long-term pain and result in a loss of productivity. Some of the causes of this type of occupational injury include the following:
- Typing or moving a mouse without effective ergonomics
- Improper lifting techniques
- Microtasks when working on a factory line
- Manually lifting heavier items and objects
- Throwing, carrying, pushing, or lifting
- A structure collapsing
- Repetitive work without any breaks
- Jumping onto another level
If you have a physically demanding job, your employer should require you to undergo proper training on how to perform physical tasks. The proper training will show you how to prevent these types of injuries. When employers fail to provide this training, there are still resources you can use. One is OSHA’s ergonomics training.
To help prevent overexertion injuries and reduce the possibility of long-term physical pain, make sure you get regular breaks and that you use the time you are given to stretch and rest. You should also use mechanical lifting equipment to assist you when lifting anything over 50 pounds.
If you happen to experience any type of overexertion, discomfort, or pain, you should not wait to seek medical treatment. Failing to seek treatment for this type of injury can result in it getting worse as time passes. This is going to cause even more problems in the future.
Struck By Falling Objects, Equipment, or Workers
In the past, you have likely walked into the sharp corner of a counter or turned and collided with a wall. However, when you work in a high-risk industry, the injuries you sustain are often much more severe.
You may suffer injuries like traumatic head injuries, blindness, full bone breaks, stress fractures, severed limbs or fingers, hand injuries, and more.
Some of the causes of these types of workplace injuries include the following:
- Excessive vibrations
- Poorly guarded machinery
- Bumping into equipment or another object
- Falling materials, debris, or tools
- Heavy equipment that tips over
- Pressure between the person on the cause of the injury
- Dropped loads
- Part of the person’s body is caught in gears or wire
- Walking into machinery or walls
- Being pushed into some type of hard surface
There is good news. Many of these accidents are preventable. The best way to prevent them is by staying aware of your surroundings and following the set procedures and policies. You must also use the proper PPE (personal protective equipment), avoid wearing loose clothing, and remove any loose hazards.
Collisions or Crashes
It doesn’t matter if you are driving a vehicle or just working around them; you can be injured in a collision or accident. An example will be if you are working in a warehouse on the floor. You can be hit or even run over by a forklift that is being used.
Some of the other situations that may cause a collision or crash include the following:
- Tanker truck, tractor-trailer, or semi-truck accidents
- Falling from a vehicle
- Being struck by an object that falls from a vehicle
- Large truck operators who drink and drive
- Being stuck in an overturned vehicle
If you are operating any type of motor vehicle, you must wear your seat belt and take the proper safety measures. This will help protect you and others.
Exposure to Harmful Environments or Substances
If you work around hazardous chemicals or in a loud environment, you are at risk of severe injuries to your skin, eyes, ears, and respiratory system if you fail to wear proper protection.
Make sure you are familiar with all chemical safety data sheets and that you wear the proper type of protection for your job. This includes protecting your skin, eyes, respiratory system, and ears. If you are exposed without proper protection, the injuries can be severe.
If you regularly work around heavy-duty cleaning crews, you need to know how to recognize signs of chemical poisoning symptoms. This is true for any industry where you work around potentially hazardous chemicals.
Explosions and Fire
Explosions and fires can cause serious burns to your body tissue. These can cause serious damage to your respiratory system and may even cause serious scarring and disfigurement.
While this type of workplace injury is not extremely common, it is the one with the highest fatality rate (however, this depends on how close you are to the fire or explosion when it occurs).
Injuries caused by explosions can be classified into four different types based on how they impact your body. These include the following:
- Primary blast: This is an injury caused by a blast wave. It is unique to higher-order explosions.
- Secondary blast: This is an injury that is caused by flying debris or objects that have been displaced due to the blast wind.
- Tertiary blast: This type of injury occurs because of displacement through the air or a structure collapse.
- Quaternary blast: Any other injury that occurs, such as inhaling toxic substances, radiation, burns, and crush injuries.
If you want to avoid these types of injuries, you must ensure you follow the hazard communication standards from OSHA. This includes wearing the proper personal protective equipment for your job and maintaining the chemical safety data sheets for all the chemicals in use.
Violence or Injuries Caused by Animals or Persons
Many people don’t think that it is possible to fight at work. However, it occurs more often than people realize.
Compounding tension and stress can cause aggressive confrontations from employees or customers. In the end, this can cause intimidation, harassment, and physical assault. An injury may also occur because of animals. This concerns foresters or people who work on a farm or in another environment where dogs or other animals are present.
The best way to avoid workplace violence is by creating a zero-tolerance policy that covers anyone who comes in contact with employees. If you work with animals, wearing the right attire makes it possible to reduce injuries. You should also follow the guidelines your employer has set and remain alert all the time.
Repetitive Use Injuries
A repetitive use injury can be caused by processing, manufacturing, and administrative tasks. However, the truth is any movements that you do throughout the day, several days per week, without any rest, can cause a repetitive use injury.
It is important to request ergonomic workstations and ensure you take regular breaks. This will help to prevent injuries. Employers should also encourage their workers to maintain their physical health by requiring yearly physicals and investing in preventative health programs, which can help prevent long-term repetitive stress issues and injuries.
Sharp edges, box cutters, and letter openers can all cause injuries to employees. In fact, the injuries may be so severe that you must file a workers’ compensation claim.
It is possible to prevent cuts. This begins with proper training related to the tools that are used. It is also necessary to limit what tools are used and how they are used. Keeping office equipment and tools in good condition will help prevent issues, too.
If you work at a desk and on a computer most of the day, you will likely experience eye strain. Having to stare at a monitor for long periods can cause degenerative eye conditions and require high-cost corrective procedures. It may also require other types of treatment.
The term “asbestos” is used to describe a group of naturally occurring minerals that are resistant to corrosion and heat. It was used for many building products in the past, including floor tiles, bathroom pipes, and more. If you are exposed to asbestos, you may experience various illnesses and different medical conditions.
How to Maximize Your Florida Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you are involved in an accident at work and sustain injuries, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, taking the right steps after an at-work accident is important to protect your rights to these benefits.
Some of the steps you should take after a workplace accident include the following:
Report the Incident
You must report the incident to your employer within 30 days of when it happens. The only exception to this rule is if you do not know about a work-caused illness immediately. In this case, you have 30 days from when you discover the incident to report it to your employer.
If you fail to report the incident within 30 days, it may result in your claim being denied.
Get a Medical Evaluation
It is important to be evaluated by a medical professional right away after an accident. Be sure the doctor you visit knows that your injury occurred while you were on the job.
If you wait too long to seek medical treatment, the other party may claim that you were not as seriously injured as you claimed to be or that the injury did not occur on the job. By seeking immediate medical treatment, you can avoid these issues.
When you see a doctor, they will likely provide you with a treatment plan. Be sure to follow the plan and go to all follow-up appointments. This will help protect your right to workers’ compensation benefits.
If there are gaps in treatment, it is more ammunition for the other party’s insurance company to claim that the injury is not as serious as you said it was.
Hire an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Assistance
If you are injured on the job, knowing some of the most common injuries that can occur is beneficial. However, don’t stop there.
It is imperative that you contact our attorneys at Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. for more help and information. We have successfully represented hundreds of cases and can provide you with the same quality and experienced reputation.
We offer our clients a free initial consultation to discuss their situation and determine if we can help with their claims. If you need workers’ competition legal services, our team is the clear-cut winner. Call us today to learn more.