At least one person experiences a work-related injury every seven seconds in the US, translating to seven million work injuries annually. Businesses and employees need to observe preventive measures at the workplace. However, accidents still happen even with the best workplace precautions.
Work injuries can lead to hefty medical bills, weeks of missed work time, and psychological stress. Fortunately, every worker is entitled to financial benefits through the employer’s compensation policy.
1. Contact With Equipment or Objects
About 26% of work injuries are caused by direct contact with equipment and objects. Typically, the injuries can occur after being crushed, squeezed, and struck at work or from excess vibrations and friction. Some of the most common industry-specific injuries include severe cuts, punctures, fractures, and lacerations. Whether you suffer a traumatic event, gradual injury, or occupational complication from your injuries, you deserve fair compensation.
Winning the injury claim requires an accurate assessment of your damages. Seeking medical attention and professional documentation of your injuries is essential. The medical records can convince the insurer to offer a better settlement. Most importantly, working with a workers’ compensation attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can improve your chances of getting a fair settlement.
2. Vehicle-Related Injuries
Vehicles are necessary in the workplace but can pose a risk of accidents. They may include falling from vehicles, being run over, or getting stuck under the vehicle. Avoiding these accidents requires a thorough assessment of risk exposure to determine when the accident is most likely to occur. You can protect yourself by observing precautionary measures and wearing protective gear.
After an injury, you have a limited window to forward your case, but if the statute of limitations expires, you lose the chance to get compensation. Filing your claim on time means you can collect the necessary evidence required for an optimum settlement. Evidence collected before filing your case may also be irrelevant.
3. Fires and Explosions
Explosions and fires can occur in the workplace due to faulty gas lines, open flames, and mishandling of combustible materials. Possible injuries may include severe burns, respiratory system complications, and disfigurement. Fires and explosions have high casualty rates due to the nature of the accident.
Primary blasts can occur when body tissues are exposed to excess pressure, damaging ears, gastrointestinal tract, and lungs. Secondary and tertiary blasts can inflict damage when flying objects strike a person. On the other hand, quaternary blast injuries involve any damage from fire or explosions.
4. Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI)
Musculoskeletal disorders are common in the modern workplace but are the most expensive injuries. Back pain complications lead to the loss of millions of workdays per year, making businesses lose billions. In addition, back injuries compromise productivity in the workplace and trigger hefty health benefit payouts.
While employers face financial impacts, the long-term implications for employees can be devastating. Typically, RSIs comprise multiple workplace-induced injuries; some can severely impair your functionality due to crippling pain.
Some common causes include improper posture when lifting heavy objects and working long shifts without breaks. In addition, repetitive work on computers can strain muscles and tendons.
5. Injuries Inflicted By Persons or Animals
While it’s easy to dismiss workplace confrontations and fighting, it happens. Stress and tension buildup can lead to aggressive behavior and conflicts in the workplace. The incidents can occur between workers or customers, leading to harassment and assault.
In addition, animal-inflicted injuries are common for people working in the wildlife conservation industry. Workers in the animal husbandry sector or other places with aggressive animals can also suffer attack injuries.
Embracing a zero-tolerance policy helps minimize workplace violence incidents. Wearing protective gear and observing workplace guidelines can also reduce injuries when working with animals.
6. Trip, Slip, and Fall Injuries
Accidental slips, trips, and falls can happen at the workplace when walking and handling designated tasks. Uneven floors, spills, and entangled cables can lead to injuries. Typically, manual handling of heavy objects increases the risks of these injuries.
Your ground-level visibility is often compromised when carrying certain loads. This makes it hard to navigate slippery spots or cables, increasing your chances of falling over. In addition, the impact of trips and slips when carrying loads is higher since you can’t use your hands to prevent or break the fall. It’s vital to assess your surroundings before handling loads manually. While the load may be safe, the workplace environment can pose serious injury hazards.
7. Exposure to Harmful Substances, Noise, and Biological Hazards
People working with loud equipment or around dangerous substances are prone to severe damage to the eyes, ears, respiratory system, and skin. It’s essential to avoid exposure without adequate protection.
Familiarize yourself with substance, noise, and chemical safety data sheets to understand the risk factors. For instance, ensure you know the subtle signs and symptoms of bleach poisoning if you work with heavy-duty cleaning substances.
Similarly, biological hazards comprise any biological material that can harm you. Most biohazards include substantial exposure to disease or harm from handling people, animals, or infectious plants.
On the other hand, chemical hazards include exposure to harmful chemical substances in liquid, gas, and solid forms. Some chemicals are safer than others, but some workers are more sensitive to exposure. Slight exposure to common chemicals can trigger allergies, respiratory issues, and other long-term health complications.
After exposure to harmful substances, don’t assume your compensation is limited to basic damages. Typically, the exposure can lead to multiple injuries, especially if the material is slow-acting. It may also be difficult to determine all the health complications and losses you’ve incurred due to the injuries. Working with an injury attorney to help negotiate a higher settlement is essential.
Workplace-related injuries are common but are more prevalent in some industries. However, anyone can suffer injuries at work regardless of their occupation. While most employers implement top-notch preventive measures, accidents still happen. If you’re a victim of a work-related injury, it’s crucial to pursue financial compensation through the employer’s worker policy. Ideally, it’s prudent to involve a legal expert in the claim process for maximum benefits.