Many people would describe their job as a “dead-end” or even “deadly dull,” but most of them don’t literally put their lives on the line when they clock in.
Know who does? Loggers, fishers, pilots and flight engineers, roofers, and trash collectors — the five most dangerous professions.
Getting hurt on the job can happen to anyone, however. Interested to hear what the most common workplace injuries are? Read on for the Top 10.
10 of the Most Common Workplace Injuries
In no particular order, here are some common injuries at work. Unless you have been negligent, it is likely that experiencing any of the following injuries will result in a workers comp claim. Talk to an attorney, however, if you have any questions about your situation.
Microtasks and Repetitive Strain Injuries
Carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries are among the most common workplace injuries. They may seem like a modern phenomenon, but in fact, the first description of them dates backs to 1700!
These injuries occur when a worker performs the same type of motion over and over again. They are often seen in factory workers as well as in-office employees who use a computer all day long.
Sprains, Strains, and Tears
Spraining or straining a joint, or tearing a ligament, can occur from repetitive motions. Another cause of these injuries is sudden trauma due to a fall or blow to the body.
Ergonomic factors leading to these injuries include awkward posture and forceful exertions. High task repetition leads to these injuries as well. Employers can reduce the risk of sprains and strains by conducting an ergonomic assessment of the workplace and the workers.
Overexertion While Lifting or Lowering
Know how some job postings specify that physical requirements of a particular position may including lifting up to 25 or 50 pounds? Unfortunately, the ability to lift and lower heavy loads isn’t something that employers test for before hiring.
As a result, employees sometimes try to take on too heavy a burden, resulting in overexertion. If your job entails lifting and lowering, and you’re not up to the task, ask someone for help!
Falls To a Lower Level
Falls to a lower level are the number one cause of roofing fatalities and other injuries. The tragedy is that these falls are almost always preventable by using safety gear. Roofing contractors should always use proper fitting harnesses, guardrails, lifelines and other equipment.
If you work for a roofing company that doesn’t provide fall protection, and you get injured, you may have a valid workers compensation case.
Falls on the Same Level
Falling isn’t limited to those who work on roofs or scaffolding. Falling can happen anywhere and cause serious injuries.
Same level fall hazards are particularly troublesome because they do not discriminate. Anyone — a maintenance worker, an intern, or the CEO of the company — is at risk for falling if proper safety procedures are not followed.
Wet floors that aren’t marked as such are a common cause of falls. Outdoor walkways that aren’t cleared of debris like leaves, ice, or snow, can be very dangerous, as well. The company is responsible for making sure that walkways and other outdoor areas on its property are safe and do not present a fall hazard.
Slips and Trips (without Falls)
Slips and trips that do not result in a fall are also among the most common workplace injuries. These can result from slick surfaces, improper footwear, poor lighting, or misplaced objects.
Knee injuries, concussions, back injuries, hand or wrist problems, and other injuries can result from a slip or a trip — even if the person does not fall.
We sometimes forget that the nation’s roadways are workplaces for many employees. However, car or truck accidents account for a high percentage of workplace injuries.
The reasons for such accidents are the same as any vehicular accident. Injuries occur due to driver error, dangerous conditions, poor visibility, and mechanical failure.
Did you know that the phrase “going postal” dates back to the late 1980s and early 1990s? A string of violent incidents involving postal employees caused several deaths and media attention. Of course, violent acts are not limited to the post office.
On the job injuries caused by employees who are angry or unstable can be difficult to prevent, but there are steps to take. If a coworker injures you and you feel that the incident was preventable, consult with an attorney.
Becoming entangled in a machine, tool, or mechanism of any sort is dangerous and often fatal. These types of injuries are tragic because they often occur when safety protocols either aren’t in place or not followed.
If you work in an environment with heavy machinery, don’t cut corners. Take extra precautions every single time you approach a machine, to ensure that an entanglement does not harm or even kill you.
Concussions, loss of consciousness, and injuries to other body parts happen due to falling objects. Anyone on a construction site, where falling objects are a danger, should wear hard hats.
Hazardous work areas should be clearly identified with signage. Other measures must be taken to prevent workplace injury from falling objects.
Walking Into Things
People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Also, people who work in glass buildings shouldn’t walk while texting, Snapchatting, or answering emails. Some Apple employees learned that the hard way earlier this year when they walked smack into glass walls at the new Apple Park campus.
Although the irony here is worth a chuckle, injuries caused by collisions with walls, doors, or other people aren’t funny. So for heaven’s sake, watch where you are going!
If You Are Injured
We’ve discussed the most common workplace injuries, but the sad reality is that there are many ways injuries happen on the job. If it’s happened to you, take steps to file a workers compensation claim. It is always smart to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in this field of law, like Hollington Brown LLP.