A supermarket, construction site, office or other workplace share something in common. Any location may be the site of workplace injuries. Employees should be aware of the typical workplace personal injury.
Slips, trips and falls constitute one-third of all workplace injuries and the highest number of workers’ compensation claims. These include head and back injuries, broken bones cuts, lacerations, pulled muscles and sprains.
Slips are caused by wet or oily surfaces, spills, the weather, loose rugs and mats and poor traction on flooring. Tripping is caused by blocked views, inadequate lighting, debris, wrinkled carpeting, uncovered cables, uneven surfaces and opened bottom drawers.
Improperly guarded machinery causes severe injuries when a body part gets caught in or hit by exposed moving parts or flying objects. Injuries include crushed hands and arms, severed fingers and blindness. Most of these injuries occur at the point of operation, the power transmission apparatus and with other moving parts.
Transportation or vehicle-related accidents involve being struck or run over, falling from vehicles, being struck by objects from the vehicles and getting crushed by or trapped under an overturned vehicle. These can occur on the road and in the workplace.
Unexpected fires and explosions constitute three percent of injuries and have the highest casualty rate of all probable accidents. Faulty gas lines, poor pipefitting, open flames and combustible materials that are stored improperly are common causes. These can be catastrophic and cause pressure on body tissues, propel workers into the air, cause inhalation of toxic materials and burns.
Finally, overexertion and repetitive stress cause musculoskeletal injuries that are the costliest workplace injuries. Back pain complaints cost employers $100 billion and 264 million lost workdays each year. These are caused by improper lifting, manually lifting heavy objects without mechanical or human assistance, working too long without breaks, automation making it harder for workers to keep up on the line and intensive keying.
Employers must comply with federal and state workplace safety and environmental laws and ensure that their employees have proper protective equipment and ergonomics and receive adequate training. When their failure to take these precautions leads to worker injury, an attorney may pursue their right to compensation.