Over 5,000 workers died in a single year in 2019, OSHA reports. That’s a shocking 15 deaths every day!
According to OSHA, the top three workplace violations leading to work-related injuries or death include a general lack of communication around hazards and, specific to the construction industry, failure to install fall protection and underuse of scaffolding.
Of course, thousands more injuries don’t result in death. Instead, an injury may leave a person unable to work–struggling financially and with their health. If you were injured at work, you might be entitled to compensation.
Read on for a list of the workplace injury scenarios American employees may, unfortunately, find themselves in.
The National Safety Council (NSC) lists overexertion as the number one cause of job-related injuries in the USA today. It affects as many as 27 out of every 10,000 workers.
Workers report sprains, tears, and strains of varying severity, primarily the result of demanding jobs that require you to lift, hold, carry, or throw heavy objects, turn quickly, or move one part of the body repetitively for a long time.
You’re most at risk of pushing your body past its limits if you’re working in the transportation and warehousing sectors.
2. Slips, Trips, and Falls
In second place in the work injuries statistics are the illnesses that result from slips, trips, and falls.
Employees whose job requires them to scale heights, such as construction workers or window cleaners, might hurt themselves following a fall. Retail workers regularly trip over merchandise displays or poorly placed stock deliveries. Or an employee might injure themselves when you grab onto a sharp ledge as they slip on a wet floor.
A fall might result in anything from a minor bruise to a life-threatening skull fracture.
3. Struck-By or Machinery-Related Incidents
Another scarily common type of injury is those resulting from being caught in machinery or struck by failing equipment.
Whether you sustain a sprain, fracture, or laceration, take it seriously. A simple hairline fracture, for instance, accounts for 8.5 out of 10,000 workplace injuries, leading to an average of almost a month off work. Approximately 75 percent of workers involved in this type of incident worked with heavy equipment like cranes, large vehicles, or production machinery.
Unsurprisingly, given these figures, you’re most at risk of a struck-by injury if you’re working in manufacturing, construction, and agriculture.
4. Auto and Transport Accidents
Millions of employees need to drive a vehicle for work, from truck drivers and first responders to those working in the oil, gas, and mining industries. In 2018 alone, over 1,200 American workers died in a work-related motor vehicle crash.
People who drive tanker, semi, or tractor-trailer trucks are most at risk. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks auto accidents among the leading cause of worker death or injury.
To make a compensation claim for auto-related injuries, an employee must be operating the vehicle for work purposes at the time of the accident. For example, you can’t typically claim an injury that occurred while driving to or from your workplace.
5. Assaults While on the Job
According to the NSC, assaults on workers caused over 20,000 injuries and more than 400 fatalities in 2018 alone. Those most at risk are taxi drivers, police and corrections officers, and healthcare, service, and education workers.
Even a minor assault can result in serious on-the-job injuries that might impair your ability to earn a wage in the future. Employers in at-risk professions should provide emergency training and support systems or equipment for employees. If you didn’t feel prepared to deal with a work-place assault that resulted in injury, you might have grounds for compensation.
6. Soreness and Pain
It takes workers an average of 17 days to recover from an incident of severe musculoskeletal pain or soreness. That’s a lot of time off work, and if you’re a casual or contract worker, it’s time off that’s potentially unpaid.
This type of injury is most common among transport and warehousing workers, nurses, attendants, and orderlies. However, it can affect anyone in a job that requires repetitive action or strain. Most employees complain of back injuries, followed by carpal tunnel and rotator cuff disorders.
7. Exposure to Toxins
Anyone from janitorial staff to those working in a production line or a research and development lab can get injured at work by chemicals. Common toxins workers in America might be exposed to include asbestos, ammonia, arsenic, lead, hydrogen peroxide, and uranium.
If you’ve been exposed to toxic chemicals at the workplace, rest assured that most states in America will consider a workers’ compensation case. Sometimes burns from or reactions to chemical exposure fade quickly, so visit a doctor immediately after exposure. You’ll have a record of whether or not the chemical in question caused the injury.
8. Hearing Loss
Today’s world is increasingly noisy, and workplaces are no exception.
Workplace-related hearing loss affects employees in carpentry, mining, agriculture, construction, oil and gas, and manufacturing industries. Basically, anywhere that dealing with heavy machinery is part of the job description.
Hearing loss can develop slowly. It may be years after working in a place without proper hearing protection that you notice changes.
If you’re in any of these industries, it’s essential to get tested annually. You’ll be able to catch any changes early on.
9. Loss of Sight
The CDC reported close to 2,000 American workers fall victim to eye-related workplace injuries every day.
If a company fails to provide adequate eye protection in the form of goggles or face shields, an employee could suffer from chemical burns, light damage, eye diseases, and cuts, scratches, or bruises to the eye. Any of these injuries could result in anything from temporary partial vision loss to permanent eye damage.
Even minor eye damage causes distress and results in time off work. If the trauma causes blindness, the outcome will turn your life upside down.
Work-Related Injuries: Can You Claim Compensation?
As you can see, there is an alarmingly large number of possible work-related injuries. The risk of an eye-injury or fracture-inducing fall happening to you is lower or higher depending on your occupation. But potentially, you’re in danger at any workplace that doesn’t take adequate precautions.
And if you’re on the clock when an injury occurs, whether you’re at work or in the field, you might be eligible for worker’s compensation. To discuss your options today, reach out to HollingtonBrown LLP–the best choice for a workers compensation lawyer in Augusta, GA.