Top 10 Causes of Disabling Workplace Injuries
When accidents happen on the road or on the job, they can be devastating to the individual involved and their entire family. The loss of mobility, the ability to work, the income…and the piles of medical bills can turn anyone’s world upside down. Our top workers’ compensation attorneys at Georgelis Injury Law Firm see how quickly a wrong move can change someone’s life forever.
The top ten causes of disabling workplace injuries cost U.S. businesses more than a billion dollars per week! Why—because the law requires them to take care of their workers who are injured on the job. Each year, Liberty Mutual Insurance researches the top ten causes of the most serious workplace injuries…and the report is distributed to business owners in an effort to reduce workplace accidents. So, where do things stand in 2020?
Here is a breakdown of the Top 10 Causes of Disabling Workplace Injuries:
- Hurt While Handling Heavy Objects
- Hurt in a Slip and Fall
- Injured by a Falling Object
- Hurt While Falling to a Lower Level
- Hurt During a Misstep
- Injured in Work Vehicle Crash
- Hurt While Tripping on Uneven Surfaces
- Injured Due to Repetitive Motion
- Hurt After Colliding with an Object
- Injured While Operating Heavy Equipment or Machinery
Hurt While Handling Heavy Objects
Bending down to lift heavy objects puts stress and strain on your hips, knees, elbows, shoulders, and back. If you are responsible for moving bulky or heavy objects from one place to another, your employer should provide training and the proper safety equipment to ensure you are keeping your body safe from harm.
Hurt in a Slip and Fall
The U.S. Department of Labor reports slips, trips and falls cause over 25% of worker injuries resulting in five or more missed days of work. Occupations with the highest percentage of fall-related fatalities are roofers, carpenters, tree trimmers and pruners, and tractor-trailer truck drivers.
Common causes of falls at work include:
- Spilled Liquids
- Poor Lighting
- Inadequate Warning Signs
- Ice and Rain Covered Surfaces
Injured by a Falling Object
Many job sites are littered with tools that can easily fall from a height at a moment’s notice. Nearly 17% of all job-site related deaths are attributed to objects falling or striking a worker. While safety helmets are almost always required at work sites, there are times that helmets just aren’t enough. Some of the more devastating injuries that result from a falling object include back injuries, neck injuries, brain injuries, disfigurement, and paralysis.
Hurt While Falling to a Lower Level
Workplace slip and fall injuries happen all the time, and for a multitude of reasons. Defective ladders, faulty anchorage systems, slipping on machinery or on loading docks—whatever it may be, you may think your injury is the result of clumsiness on your part. However, there are strict regulations implemented by OSHA which employers must abide by. If a fall happened while on the job, there’s a good chance you are entitled to compensation.
Hurt During a Misstep
These accidents are responsible for thousands of workplace injuries, and trips to the emergency room, every year—and many employees become victims without realizing they have suffered a slip and fall. Any type of movement can precede a fall and should be covered by workers’ comp. A misstep, or a “trip” can happen at any time. When a worker loses his or her balance and is able to stop themselves from falling completely, their muscles and joints may still react to the fall, causing torn ligaments and even fractures.
Injured in a Work Vehicle Crash
Many workers are required to drive a work vehicle that is company-issued. Accidents happen, and when they do, Pennsylvania workers are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits—regardless of fault, as long as the accident happened in the course and scope of their employment (some exceptions apply, i.e., drunk driving or employee wasn’t given permission to drive the work vehicle, for example). Many times, if an employee is injured in a vehicle accident while engaged in work duties, they can also bring a third-party claim against the at-fault driver. This opens up potential new avenues of recovery–like pain and suffering and loss of life’s enjoyment–and potential new sources of recovery–like different auto and truck insurance policies.
Hurt While Tripping on Uneven Surfaces
It doesn’t take much to cause a serious trip and fall accident. All kinds of hazards can lead to serious injuries, and these accidents often happen when workers least expect them. Some of the more common causes of trip and fall accidents include:
- Transitions from One Surface to Another
- Sloped Walking Surfaces
- Loose Surfaces (such as gravel)
- Cables, Wires and Other Objects on Floor
- Loose or Unanchored Rugs and Mats
- Missing or Uneven Tiles or Bricks
- Damaged, Non-Uniform or Irregular Steps
Injured Due to Repetitive Motion
A repetitive motion injury happens when a worker is performing the same action over and over again, causing stress and strain on their body, which eventually results in injury. Typing on a keyboard, standing for a long period of time, working on a production line, using hand tools, or lifting objects hundreds of times a day can cause serious stress on the body.
Some common repetitive stress injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, tendonitis and rotator cuff injuries, as well as aggravations of pre-existing or underlying arthritic and other conditions.
Hurt After Colliding with an Object
A good many workplace injuries result from a collision with an object. This type of injury could happen when a worker runs into an object or is struck by a moving object. For example, they could be hit by a vehicle at work, hurt by a box or another falling object from a shelf, or hit by an object dropped or tossed by another employee.
Injured While Operating Heavy Equipment or Machinery
Accidents involving heavy equipment and machinery can cause disabling injuries and a lifetime of pain and suffering. These types of accidents are common in construction, manufacturing, warehousing, and various other industries. From operator error to equipment and machinery defects, if just one thing goes wrong, the consequences can be catastrophic. Some of the equipment most often involved in these types of accidents include:
- Backhoes and Loaders
- Cherry Pickers
- Combines and Farming Equipment
- Dump Trucks
- Tow Motors and Forklifts
Some of the most common factors involved in heavy equipment and machinery accidents include:
- Backing Up
- Dropped Loads
- Failure to Check Blind Spots
- Pinning Workers Between Equipment and Stationary Objects
Injured at Work? Call Lancaster’s TOP Workers’ Comp Attorneys Right Away!
If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, Call Georgelis First at 1-800-HURT-NOW! Georgelis Injury Law has been voted the best injury and accident law firm in Lancaster County for the last 8 years as part of Lancaster County Magazine’s annual “Best of Lancaster County” survey. We’ve helped our clients recover more than $50,000,000.00, and we can help you too. Our experienced, skillful and relentless workers’ compensation attorneys will fight to ensure you get every penny you deserve.
The workers’ compensation system in Pennsylvania is difficult to navigate. One mistake can cost you big time. Call us for a free case evaluation and we will walk alongside you, ensuring nothing is missed and maximum compensation is achieved. We never collect a fee until we win money for you!