.What Is a Workplace Injury?
Illnesses and injuries triggered, exacerbated or owed to workplace exposures or events are all considered workplace injuries. Such injuries happen on the clock and as a result of specific job duties.
A workplace injury does not always have to be a physical one, such as a slip or cut; they can be emotional or mental, too. Depending on the employer, injured employees may have access to workers’ compensation, which covers the injury’s resulting medical bills. To qualify for a workers’ comp claim, the employee must gather evidence that proves the illness or injury occurred on the clock and in a workplace setting.
What Is a Common Workplace Injury?
Fall, Trips and Slips
Slips, trips and falls make up roughly a third of all workplace injuries. This common injury results in broken bones, cuts, sprains, pulled muscles and neck and head injuries. Common reasons that employees slip and fall include oily and wet floors, unattended spills, loose carpet or rugs and icy walkways or steps. Examples of tripping hazards are office clutter, inferior lighting, bunched carpet and unsecured cables.
Being Struck or Caught in Moving Machinery
Factories commonly contain farming and construction equipment, which can lead to injuries if employers and employees neglect to properly guard machines. An unwary employee could become caught in machinery, hit by flying items or exposed to moving machinery, which may lead to a loss of sight, crushed arms or hands or severed fingers.
Workers who drive company vehicles or use personal vehicles for company purposes could experience vehicle-related accidents. Workers may sustain injuries if another driver hits them, if falling items from another vehicle strike the employee’s car or if a worker becomes pinned beneath an overturned vehicle.
Repetitive Stress and Overexertion Injuries
While slips, trips and falls are the leading reason for employees filing workers’ comp claims, overexertion and repetitive stress injuries are the most expensive work injury. One unique aspect of musculoskeletal disorders is that while they cost companies billions of dollars every year and result in a loss of productivity, the overall impact on injured employees can be much direr. Repetitive stress and overexertion injuries can lead to long-term and potentially debilitating effects for workers.
A repetitive stress injury could be severe enough to make even the most basic motions and movement agonizing for employees. A single stress injury may impact a person for life, leaving the individual unable to perform standard job duties. Working without sufficient breaks, using improper lifting techniques and constantly typing on a keyboard all have the potential to trigger a repetitive stress injury.
What Are Tips for Avoiding Common Workplace Injuries?
Employers and employees can (and should) work together to prevent workplace injuries. Awareness of common injuries is a good foundation for prevention, but taking additional steps is even better for all parties involved.
Preventing Fall, Trips and Slips
To help employees keep both of their feet on the floor, companies must prioritize cleaning up spills, investing in quality floors and requiring employees to wear proper footwear in industries that commonly have slippery floors, such as food service. To do their part, employees should promptly report spills, clutter and obstructions.
Preventing Being Struck or Caught in Moving Machinery
Companies that use machinery must familiarize themselves with the machine parts, functions and processes that could harm employees. Further, employers must install machine safeguards to protect workers. Employees should wear proper protective clothing while working around dangerous machinery, and they should complete the training required to safely operate machines.
Preventing Vehicle-Related Accidents
Not only must employees practice safe driving habits while behind the wheel, but employers also play a part in preventing vehicle-related accidents. All company vehicles require regular maintenance. This not only helps keep workers safe but also better ensures that companies get the most out of their vehicles. Planning routes to avoid construction, traffic and similar hazards helps keep employee drivers safe.
Preventing Repetitive Stress and Overexertion Injuries
Ergonomics is essential for avoiding overexertion and repetitive stress injuries. Desks, chairs, keyboards, monitors and other related office hardware must fit the body’s needs regarding overall comfort. Such solutions are often inexpensive.
Workers who perform repetitive motions should take frequent breaks to stretch and rest their muscles. Companies that require employees to frequently lift anything weighing more than 50 pounds should invest in mechanical or manual lifting equipment. Just to be cautious and to protect employees from avoidable injury.
Can Work Environments Become Sites of Non-Work-Related Workplace Injuries?
Employees and employers must realize that non-work-related injuries can take place on company grounds or within a work environment. For instance, if an employee is off the clock on company grounds and becomes injured, that qualifies as a non-work-related injury. Due to the fact that the injured individual was a member of the public when the accident occurred.
Employees may volunteer for exercise classes, blood drives or other medical or wellness programs. If they sustain an injury during a voluntary event, that is a non-work-related incident.
When off the clock, an employee could sustain a non-work-related injury while tending to a personal matter or errand. Another example of such an injury is if a worker sustains an injury in a motor vehicle accident. Either on the road in a company vehicle, in a company parking lot or while traveling to work on a company access road.
What Are Employer Responsibilities Regarding Preventing Workplace Injuries?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers must remain compliant with the latest federal and state workplace safety standards and regulations. That means making sure that employees have safety tools and equipment. Work environments need proper safety posters, color codes, signs and labels that let workers know about potential hazards. Companies must also provide all necessary safety training in vocabularies or languages that all employees understand.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer
Did you suffer a common workplace injury? Are you uncertain whether you sustained a non-work-related injury in your workplace? An experienced legal professional can help you determine the situation you have on your hands. As well as determining whether you should consider filing a workers’ comp claim. You could have a viable legal case against a negligent employer.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!