Common workplace accidents cause countless injuries
Workplace accidents injure millions each year.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (better known as “OSHA”), workplace accidents injure millions each year and cost billions in lost productivity, medical costs and disability benefits. These accidents run the gamut from minor incidents like a fall that sprains an ankle to catastrophic incidents like scaffold or crane collapses that kill several. Though the circumstances of the accidents and the injuries sustained in them vary widely, many of them have something in common: they should have been prevented.
Understanding what types of workplace injuries are common – and how they happen – is important for workers, managers and employers alike in order to keep the environment as free from hazards as possible and allow everyone to do their jobs in a safe manner.
The National Safety Council reports that overexertion injuries (including those sustained by lifting, pulling, throwing, pushing, holding or carrying people or objects) result in nearly $14 billion in benefit costs each year. These are the most common workplace injuries, and can be sustained by people in all industries, job functions and skill-sets, from nurses responsible for lifting or repositioning patients to white-collar workers relocating files from one office to the next.
Sometimes, injuries like these just happen in spite of adequate training, preparation and technique. Other times, however, an employer’s lack of safety protocols makes it more likely that injuries will occur. If, for example, you deliver packages for a living, it is your employer’s responsibility to train you in the proper way to lift heavy parcels to avoid injury, to show you how best to engage your muscles to protect your spine, to allow you adequate rest breaks to lessen the chances of overexertion, and to provide you with adequate safety gear (like back or wrist braces) to minimize the likelihood that you’ll be hurt.
Another common workplace injury is caused by falling. Slips, trips, falls and partial falls (during which you recover enough to not fall down but still injure yourself) happen every day, but are more likely in inclement weather. If your employer is aware of the risks associated with, for example, ice being tracked into the building, but refuses to take precautions (like sanding and salting outdoor walkways, putting down rugs at entrances, using “wet floor” signs or installing anti-slip strips), injuries can happen.
Improper “housekeeping” can also lead to fall injuries: if there are stacks of boxes, files, equipment or supplies on pathways and in corridors, even a momentary distraction could result in a nasty fall.
Of course, it is important that you take your own precautions and remain diligent while on the job in order to lessen the chances that you’ll be injured. If, however, you are hurt in the workplace, you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits that include medical care, out-of-work benefits and quite possibly a disability award for injuries sustained. To learn more about workers’ comp claims, contact the skilled attorneys at the law offices of Kaplan and Kaplan, Counsellors at Law. Call them at 973-988-1101 or 800-724-5346 today.