Workplace injuries can happen at any time and in any occupation, but there are some occupations that are inherently riskier than others, especially those in construction and manufacturing. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 3.3 million workers suffer from work-related injuries and 5,000 workers lose their lives to workplace accidents each year. Workplace injuries are so common, in fact, that one in five American adults say that they have suffered an injury while on-the-job, according to a recent FindLaw survey.
Injuries while on-the-job are unavoidable. Even for companies that follow every safety rule and regulation to the letter, it is simply impossible to remove 100% of safety risks in the workplace. Learning more about the most common workplace injuries and how they occur can help you prevent injuries of your own. The following 7 types of injuries are among the most common workplace injuries across all jobs.
Most Common Workplace Injuries
The primary cause of workplace injuries is overexertion. Injuries that result from overextending yourself arise when you’re attempting to do more than your body is physically capable of. Such injuries involve extensive lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, and throwing, that results in a work related injury. Overexerting yourself on-the-job can cause muscle pulls, tears, and strains. You can also hyper extend a joint by causing it to move beyond the intended range of motion. People tend to overextend themselves when the job involves performing physical labor. However, even employees with sedentary office positions can overextend themselves in certain circumstances. In 2010, overexertion cases resulted in $13.4 billion in workers’ compensation across the nation, according to the 2010 Workplace Safety Index.
Slip and Fall/Trip and Fall
A majority of the slip, trip, and fall workplace accidents arise from workers slipping on wet floors around the workplace. The floor may be wet because it was freshly mopped or because something was spilled; even if there were warning signs around the wet floor, you’re entitled to worker’s compensation benefits if you fall and sustain an injury while on-the-job. Falls can either be from the same level, including tripping or slipping, or from a height, including falling from a ladder, stairs, scaffolding, or rooftop. Falls can result in broken bones, head injuries, neck and back injuries, and injuries to internal organs.
Struck by an Object
Whether an object drops from above or swings through the air, it can cause serious injury if it strikes a worker. These type of workplace injuries occur most often when something falls off a shelf or other storage area. Such work accidents also occur when an object is dropped by another worker onto a lower level. Even small objects like tools can be deadly if they fall from high enough and strike the head or another body part with enough force. Most all occupations, from office and retail workers to construction and manufacturing workers, are in danger of being struck by something.
Struck Against an Object
Injuries from being struck or pinned against an object occur far more often than people realize. For example, a construction worker can be seriously hurt, or even worse killed, if they get caught between a truck frame and a lowering hydraulic bed. According to the same FindLaw survey from above, some 17% of surveyed individuals reported injuries related to potentially dangerous office equipment, machinery, and objects.
From defective machinery and equipment to improper maintenance, if you suffer injuries from such items while on-the-job you should contact an experienced warrior personal injury lawyer who can help you with the workers’ compensation process, as well as filing product liability claims against the manufacturer.
Motor Vehicle Injuries
Auto accidents happen at a staggeringly high incident rate. The same FindLaw survey from above stated that 12% of workers reported suffering on-the-job injuries related to car accidents. If you have to travel while on the clock, you’re considered to be on-the-job while driving. If you are involved in a car accident that occurs while you’re driving or otherwise traveling in connection with your employment you are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits for the injuries sustained as a result.
Whiplash is an injury that occurs when the head snaps forward and then backward, is a common occurrence in car accidents.
Whiplash symptoms include:
- Blurred vision;
- Pain at the base of the neck.
Symptoms usually appear within 24 hours after the accident. That is why seeking medical attention as soon as possible after any accident is so important for your recovery, health and your personal injury case.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive physical tasks performed over a long period of time, such as pushing and pulling with your hands or arms while working on an assembly line or operating a machine, can cause temporary or even permanent damage to muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments. 20% of those survived for the FindLaw survey mentioned above reported suffering work related injuries caused by repetitive motion. Common repetitive motion injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, and medial and lateral epicondylitis. Assembly line workers, construction workers and employees in the meatpacking industry are at particular risk of development repetitive motion injuries.
Occupational Illnesses and Diseases
An occupational illness or disease is any illness or disease resulting from exposure to various health risk factors while working. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), major occupational risks include airborne exposures, carcinogens, ergonomic stressors, and even noise. Some of the most common illnesses and diseases caused by workplace risks include:
- Breathing and respiratory problems.
- Exposure to hazardous airborne chemicals, dust, gasses, or fumes at work, especially over a lifetime of work, can result in serious breathing problems. For example, asbestos, common among construction workers and shipbuilders, is an illness that results from breathing in asbestos particles. People suffering from asbestos experience severe fibrosis (scarring of throat and lung tissue) and have a high risk of developing mesothelioma (cancer of the lung and throat linings). Other breathing and respiratory problems include silicosis, beryllium disease, and pneumoconiosis.
- Skin disease; exposure to chemicals, plants, or even too much sun at work can result in skin diseases. For example, metal workers and those that work with cement can experience chrome ulcers. Other skin diseases that plague workers include eczema/work-related dermatitis, contact dermatitis, friction blisters, and inflammation of the skin.
- Hearing loss; exposure to loud or constant noise at work can result in permanent hearing damage. Workers commonly at risk for hearing loss include construction workers, bouncers, bartenders, factory workers, ambulance drivers, and even airplane flight crews.
Workplace Injury? Call Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm!
Workplace injuries can have serious physical, mental, and financial consequences. If you are suffering as a result of a job-related injury, even if it was your fault, you can seek benefits by contacting Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm. You should take action as soon as possible to preserve your legal rights. Also, remember to report your injury as soon as possible or you may risk hundreds or even thousands of dollars in valuable benefits!
With over 25 years of experience and a bilingual staff, Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm is dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation you need. We provide an initial consultation free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if we win your case!
Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm at 312-377-7000 today!