According to the National Safety Council (NSC), one U.S. worker is injured on the job every seven seconds. This equates to the following staggering statistics:
- 7 million work injuries per year,
- 393,450 work injuries per month,
- 90,400 work injuries per week,
- 12,900 work injuries per day, and
- 540 work injuries per hour.
Every employer is required to provide a reasonably safe and healthy working environment. What may be considered safe on a construction site may not be the same as what is considered safe in a jewelry store. Regardless of the industry, hazards always exist.
Common Workplace Injuries
Though the details and severity of each injury is unique, there are some common workplace injuries.
Overexertion and Bodily Reaction
Many jobs require you to be able to lift 40 pounds, but often 40 turns into 50, which turns into 60 and so on. Even if you are only doing light labor or even no labor at all, injuries can occur. Injuries are exacerbated when the motion is repetitive, such as typing, pushing, standing, and other normal parts of employment in a particular field. Common workplace injuries may include:
- Muscle strains,
- Carpal tunnel,
- Slipped disc,
- Torn ligaments, and
- Torn tendons.
Some of these conditions arise during the normal course of employment, without fault. That does not mean that you cannot be compensated for the injury.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
You do not have to trip over spilled soda or a banana peel for workplace injuries to be legitimized. Injuries from slips and trips can occur when an employee tries to keep themselves from falling. Walking down stairs or making a misstep on a ladder are all common causes of workplace injuries. Common injuries from slips, trips, and falls include:
- Joint and ligament sprains,
- Broken bones, and
- Head injuries.
It may be important to note the cause of your slip, trip, or fall. If you tripped on something that was negligently left on the ground or fell because of an equipment malfunction, this could be relevant later for compensation.
Contact with an Object or Equipment
In a battle of person vs inanimate object, the object often wins. This includes being hit by an object such as a falling ladder, beam, or even collapsing structure. Operating heavy machinery is inherently dangerous even in the best of conditions. A bakery assistant who is severely burned because of contact with a hot pan or food also fits under this category. Common workplace injuries from contact with an object or equipment may include:
- Broken bones,
- Internal bleeding, and
Workplace injuries vary greatly with the circumstances of the workplace.
Workers’ Compensation for Workplace Injuries
It is important to understand the value of your workers’ compensation claim to avoid settling for too little. Workers’ compensation typically covers only the cost of medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. You may be wondering Can I sue workers’ comp for pain and suffering? and sadly, despite what you may be going through, pain and suffering is not an available remedy for workers’ comp. There are some situations where you may be able to file a claim against your employer instead of workers’ comp or against a third party. It is important to consult an experienced workers’ comp attorney to evaluate your options.