Workers’ Compensation – What are the Common Workplace Accidents? Workers suffering workplace accidents are mostly eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The types of injuries are often life-changing, keeping workers away from their jobs. The law requires employers to compensate for the medical expenses incurred and lost wages, when an employee has a work-related injury or illness. Workers’ compensation covers those disabilities that are related to an accidental injury in a workplace. According to the National Safety Council, a worker is injured every seven seconds on the job. Work injury lawyers need accurate medical record review to evaluate such cases. Professional medical review companies prepare reliable case chronologies that provide a precise record of the various medical events and outcomes.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that occupations such as Nursing assistants, Heavy truck and tractor-trailer truck drivers, light truck drivers, construction laborers, maintenance and repair workers, stockers and order fillers, janitors and cleaners, registered nurses and retail sales persons had the highest incidence rates per 10,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers.
Some of the common types of accidents in workers’ compensation cases are –
Slips and Falls
According to BLS, slips, trips, and falls cause nearly 700 fatalities per year and many more accidents in the workplace. Three physical factors involved in these injuries are friction, momentum, and gravity. Loss of traction can be the leading cause of workplace slips, which refers to a loss of balance when workers hurry up with their tasks or do not pay attention when they’re walking. Wet surfaces, spills, or weather hazards can also cause slips.
Trips can occur when your foot hits an object. Falls from heights or the roof or falls caused by slips and trips are often the leading cause of injuries and deaths at the workplace. Slips and falls can lead to head injuries, spinal and back injuries, broken bones or sprains. Employees injured in workplace accidents may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers are often at risk of crashes, whether they drive light or heavy vehicles for job purposes and such vehicle-related accidents could lead to workers’ compensation cases. There are chances for workers to be struck or injured by vehicles passing by while working in traffic zones, repairing roads, fall from a vehicle, getting struck by objects falling from a vehicle and getting crushed under an overturned vehicle.
According to the CDC, in 2018, 1,276 U.S. workers driving or riding a motor vehicle on a public road died in a work-related crash. Auto accidents happening while on the job increases the chance to get workers’ compensation benefits.
Fires and Explosions
Fires or explosions at work can lead to serious injuries. Such accidents often happen due to risk factors such as defective fire equipment, not properly stored combustibles, poor pipe fittings and more. Injuries that can happen during such incidents include crush and burn injuries, damage of the respiratory system, getting struck by an object, inhaling toxic substances, life-threatening medical consequences, damage to the worker’s ears, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract and more.
Jobs involving the use of heavy machines are often risky, as machinery accidents can cause great harm. Such accidents are common mainly in factories with farm equipment, construction, manufacturing and warehousing equipment. Workers may have to handle heavy equipment and machinery such as backhoes and loaders, bulldozers, cranes, electric hand trucks, forklifts, trenchers and more. Machinery related injuries include crushed hands and arms, severed fingers, blindness and more. Such accidents mainly happen by colliding with a stationary object or with another piece of equipment, dropped loads, failing to check blind spots or more.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Also known as overexertion injuries, repetitive stress injuries are the result of repetitive motions such as lifting, pushing or pulling an object. Such injuries are common in jobs involving physical labor. Repetitive stress injuries can include carpal tunnel, musculoskeletal disorders, tendonitis or bursitis. These injuries are common among assembly line workers, workers who type regularly and those performing repetitive lifting. The most common causes for accidents involving dangerous machinery include inadequate training, improper lifting of heavy objects, and machine operation without any protective gear or faulty machinery.
Defective products or equipment in a workplace can cause injuries, leading to product liability cases, workers’ compensation claims or personal injury lawsuits. Certain products may not meet manufacturer standards and may not include safety features such as guards or rails as expected and can cause injuries to the workers using them. Manufacturing defects of such products can result in broken bones, crushing injuries, burns, respiratory problems, cuts or lacerations or even death.
Defective Products and Work Place Injuries
Employees who are injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. It provides coverage for injured workers’ medical costs and lost wages. Attorneys and legal firms require medical record review for workers’ compensation, which involves sorting, organizing, and reviewing records to evaluate such claims.