You are always cautious when walking around ladders, and attempt to avoid walking underneath workers on the floors above you. You’ve heard that falling debris can cause fatal injuries, so you make sure to be as careful as you can when stock is being moved above you. But according to researchers, you may be more likely to slip on a wet floor than be struck by a falling crate.
Insurance companies have ranked the top ten most common work injuries that result in worker's compensation claims. From most common to least, these injuries include:
- Overexertion. The most common way employees are injured on the job is by trying to do to more than their bodies can handle. This can include lifting heavy loads, pulling or pushing carts, carrying materials for long distances, or exposure to extreme heat or cold. Overexertion injuries may cause pulled muscles, torn ligaments, herniated discs, and even heart attacks from the strain.
- Slipping and tripping. Thousands of workplace injuries occur every year simply because of uncorrected tripping hazards. Wet floors, icy conditions, uneven flooring and scattered debris can cause anything from a sprained ankle to a serious head injury. All employers have a duty to safeguard workers by responding to known tripping hazards promptly, making sure that spills and debris have posted warning signs until they can be cleared away.
- Falls from heights. A serious fall can happen on any elevated surface, such as a ladder, stairway, roof, or platform, and a large number of these injuries will be fatal.
- Reaction injuries. A reaction injury occurs when a worker’s body responds to an avoidance of trauma, such as when he slips but does not fall. Reaction injuries may cause torn ligaments, broken fingers and toes, muscle injuries, and other medical problems.
- Falling objects. Objects that fall from shelves or are dropped by another employee can cause life-altering injuries, such as paralysis and brain damage.
- “Walking-into” injuries. These injuries occur when a worker runs into an object at work, such as a door, wall, beam, window, chair, or other solid surface.
- Car accidents. Many employees have been injured while driving or riding in a car for business purposes, such as driving a delivery truck or driving to meet a client.
- Machine accidents. While machinery accidents are most likely to happen in the construction and manufacturing industries, workers in any setting may suffer injuries if their clothing, fingers or hair becomes entangled in a machine.
- Repetitive motion injuries. Repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome can arise due to years of performing the same motion day after day.
- Violent acts. While less prevalent than other types of accidents, personal attacks from other workers or employers are responsible for numerous physical injuries on the job.
Employers May Attempt to Shift Blame to Avoid Paying Workers’ Compensation
Employers are not only responsible for providing a safe work environment, they must also provide proper training and adequate safety equipment to their employees. However, many employers may attempt to avoid paying benefits by claiming that the employee was responsible for his injury, leaving the worker unable to make a living and with no way to pay for his medical bills.
You may not need to prove negligence in order to get your workers’ comp benefits. Click the link on this page to tell us your story, or read through a FREE copy of our book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers’ Comp Guide.