A Guest Post by Lilly Miller
Different industries come with different workplace injuries and carry different risks, some significantly more than others. In fact, those working in the construction and transportation industry are exposed to the highest risk of suffering a workplace injury, and are immediately followed by industries such as agriculture and professional and business services.
When workplace injuries do occur, they can result in serious consequences and land both the employer and the employee in an uncomfortable situation. The truth is, accidents can happen to anyone and at any time and place. Still, it helps to be aware of the ones that take place most often as well as the best preventative measures that need to be taken. With that in mind, here are some of the most common injuries in 2021 and the best ways to avoid them.
Injuries related to workplace equipment
Workplace injuries related to equipment are quite common. In fact, they account for almost a third of all workplace injuries, according to the United States National Security Council (NSC). These injuries vary from minor ones that only require a trip to a medical professional to more severe ones that may call for a surgery and even amputation. Some equipment-related injuries may even have a fatal outcome.
If you’re an employee who suffers such an injury, you may choose to take legal action against your employer. Whether the reason for the injury is equipment malfunction or lack of training, supervision, and preventative maintenance, the employee can start a workplace claim and assert their legal rights. If such a situation occurs, the employer will need the help of a premises liability lawyer. They’ll help assess the situation and determine liability. It’d also help if you had professional liability insurance if you suddenly end up in a lawsuit after being sued for malpractice or negligence.
Injuries associated with overexertion
Engaging in strenuous activities on a daily basis can take some serious toll on a worker’s physical health. From heavy lifting to pushing and carrying, repetitive and strenuous physical tasks are often the reason for workplace incidents such as overexertion, and can result in serious physical harm. Depending on the severity of the workplace injury, the employee can experience debilitating and crippling pain, and sometimes even permanently hinder the employees’ capability of performing their job.
Injuries associated with overexertion don’t only have a negative and sometimes lasting impact on the employees. These injuries often have a significant financial impact on the employer, which is often the result of productivity loss, lost workdays, and costs related to annual health benefit payouts. By providing the workers with ergonomic and protective work equipment along with adequate training, employees can protect their employees and reduce the number of workplace injuries associated with overexertion.
Injuries caused by tripping, slipping, or falling
From broken bones and fractures to sprains and cumulative trauma, injuries caused by tripping, slipping, or falling are some of the most common personal injuries in the workplace. One third of workplace injuries happen due to slip-and-fall accidents, and they account for the largest percentage of workers’ compensation claims. While getting treatment is crucial in these situations but what comes afterwards is equally important a thing to consider.
As an employer, it’s your duty to discuss the way you’re going to compensate your worker and offer them several options. As an employee, you may expect your employee to cover your time away from work as well as your medical expenses. If they refuse to do so, your safest bet would be to look for an experienced workman’s comp attorney and seek legal representation. They’ll check your eligibility for a workman’s compensation claim. If you’re eligible, they’ll do everything in their power to ensure you get the compensation you need.
Injuries as a consequence of workplace vehicle-related accidents
Vehicle-related injuries account for a large percentage of work-related injury deaths. Vehicle accidents that took place while the employees were doing their job resulted in 22,000 deaths in the period from 2003 to 2014, with vehicle crashes costing US employers $25 billion dollars just in 2013 alone. The reasons for vehicle-related accidents are numerous, and range from falling from vehicles, being struck by vehicle or objects falling from the vehicle, to getting stuck or crushed while under a vehicle.
As a business owner, preventing vehicle-related workplace injuries should be one of your top concerns. Start by examining your workplace design, and pay special attention to obstructions, speed limit, directions, and priority signs, making sure they’re clearly visible. Identify the place and time when most of the vehicle-related accidents occur most often, and make all the necessary risk assessments. As an employee, you may want to look into available legal options, and seek compensation for the damage. In doing so, you can ensure your time off from work and your medical expenses will be covered while you’re waiting to recover.
Accidents happen, and while there’s no way of predicting or preventing workplace injuries completely, there are preventative steps that both employers and employees can take in order to minimize the risk of such injuries. Not only will this result in an environment that’s safer for workers and staff, but it’ll also give employers peace of mind since they’ll know they did everything in their power to prevent workplace injuries from occurring in the first place.
Also published on Medium.