What Are the Most Common Causes of Work-Related Injuries?
Going to work should not put employees in danger of coming home at the end of the day with a severe injury. Unfortunately, workers are often injured while on the job. While some occupations are inevitably risky, all employers should take the time to make their workplace as safe as possible. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds in the U.S. On a grander scale, 104 million production days were lost in 2017 due to work-related injuries. There are three leading causes of work-related injuries that have been recorded by the NSC, each of which could be avoided with proper precautions by employers.
Top Causes of Employee Injuries
Many people suffer from injuries at work, but not all of these injuries are serious enough to require an employee to take time off. Of injuries that did require days off from work, there were three main causes of non-fatal injuries that account for more than 85% of all cases:
- Overexertion & Bodily Reaction: These two forms of injury are a direct result of repetitive motions, such as lifting or lowering objects. This type of injury is most common for those who work in transportation and warehousing, since their jobs have very little variety in terms of physical activity. Employers should instruct employees to avoid bending, reaching, and twisting when lifting any object, including those that do not have a lot of weight. Employees should also be encouraged to take short breaks throughout the day in order to mitigate these types of injuries.
- Contact With Objects & Equipment: There are various ways in which an individual can be hurt by equipment. An object can strike or worker, or a worker can run into an object accidentally. If an employee gets trapped in between large pieces of equipment, they can be fatally injured. Burns can also occur from friction caused by vibrating machinery. Workers in agriculture, construction, transportation, and warehousing are most likely to suffer these types of injuries. Employers should ensure that employees wear proper protective equipment at all times while working. Employees should also be trained to remain aware of their surroundings and keep large objects close to the floor to avoid injuries from falling objects.
- Slips, Trips & Falls: These types of injuries are extremely common in all workplaces, although transportation, warehousing, and agricultural workers suffer fall injuries at a higher rate. Slipping on wet surfaces or falling from ladders, roofs, and scaffolding are typical causes of injuries. Employers should take steps to avoid these injuries by ensuring that areas are clean and dry and training employees to place the bases of ladders on sturdy surfaces.
Contact a Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workers' compensation benefits are the exclusive remedy of an employee for an industrial injury against the employer, any other employee of the same employer, and the worker's compensation insurer. The term "third party claim" is frequently used to describe a tort claim by a worker against a person other than the employer or a co-employee. An injured employee, the employer, or workers' compensation insurer may sue a third party tortfeasor who is responsible for the employee's injuries. The employee claims damages for injuries above and beyond workers' compensation benefits. Such damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and derivative claims for loss of society and companionship. If you are unsure whether you have only a workers' compensation claim, or whether there may be a third-party claim available to you as well, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss the facts and circumstances of your injury.
If you experience any of the previously mentioned injuries while at work, you will likely be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. It is an employer’s duty to keep their workplace safe, and if they fail to do so, employees who are injured should be sure to understand their options for pursuing compensation. At Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd., our workers' compensation and workplace accident attorneys represent the victims of workplace injuries and their families. We will work to secure just compensation that will protect your long-term financial security. If you have been a victim of employer negligence, contact our experienced Appleton workers’ compensation lawyers at 920-739-7366 for a free consultation.