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While the number of US workers injured at work has been declining every year, 882,730 still incurred injuries in 2017 alone. According to a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.8% of workers were injured on the job last year. Many of these accidents would have been prevented if employers had maintained safe conditions at work.
Below are the top 10 causes of workplace injuries.
1. Overexertion (Involving Outside Source)
When an overexertion injury occurs due to pulling, pushing, lifting, or otherwise moving an object, it’s considered to be caused by overexertion involving an outside source. These kinds of movements may lead to injuries such as strains, pulled muscles, or tendonitis. Overexertion injuries are often the result of employers forcing workers to move excessively heavy objects without proper equipment, repetitive movements, or workers being forced to work for long hours with few breaks.
Every year, overexertion injuries involving outside sources lead to over $15 billion in payouts to injured workers.
2. Falls on the Same Level
Falls on the same level are falls that do not involve a person falling from a higher floor or structure. Such falls may be caused by slippery floors, objects that are obstructing the walking path, loose floor tiles, or other causes. These kinds of falls often lead to fractures or breaks of bones in the spine, pelvis, hip, leg, ankle, hand, or arm. Employers or managers often contribute to these accidents when they don’t address unsafe workplace conditions.
Same-level falls account for around $10 billion in compensation to injured employees.
3. Falls to a Lower Level
When a worker falls off a structure or upper-level floor, it can lead to serious injuries or even death. Even short falls can lead to serious injuries – over 60% of falls to lower levels were from heights of less than 10 feet. When employers don’t supply workers with proper safety equipment or don’t install railings, employees are very susceptible to experiencing such falls.
Falls to a lower level cause around $5 billion in injuries every year.
4. Strikes from Objects or Equipment
Injuries caused by moving objects or equipment can happen anywhere, but they’re especially common in warehouses and at construction sites. Being struck by falling objects, forklifts, or other striking forces can lead to serious injury or even death. In fact, being struck by objects or equipment is the number one cause of death in the workplace. These kinds of injuries or deaths can often be avoided if employers and managers provide proper supervision, safety equipment, and maintenance of workplace conditions.
Strikes by objects or equipment lead to around $5 billion in injury payments every year.
5. Other Exertions (or Bodily Actions)
Exertions in this category are generally ones that don’t lead to impact and aren’t due to overexertion with heavy objects. Examples include reaching, climbing, and bending over for long periods of time. Common outcomes of these actions include strains, tendonitis, and other overuse injuries.
Every year, these actions lead to over $4 billion in injury damages.
6. Motorized Vehicle Incidents
Job sites often have vehicles working alongside employees. Such vehicles may include semi trucks, cranes, wreckers, dump trucks, or other motorized land vehicle. With vehicles and pedestrian workers operating in such close proximity, the chance for injury or death is significant. Other times, construction workers on the side of the road who aren’t supplied with proper safety equipment may be struck by non-work vehicles. In any work zone or workplace, employers and managers are responsible for keeping employees safe from harm caused by motor vehicles.
Motor vehicle injury accidents cause around $3 billion in workplace injury damages every year.
7. Slip or Trip Without Fall
Even if a worker does not fall, a slip or trip can lead to injury. Such injuries may include twisted ankles, fractures, or broken bones.
These slips and trips lead to over $2 billion in payouts for worker injuries every year.
8. Being Caught in/Compressed by Objects or Equipment
The gears and other components of machinery can cause terrible accidents when a worker gets caught in them. Such incidents may lead to severed fingers, broken bones, or even death. A lot of times, these accidents happen when workplace conditions are unsafe or machinery is improperly maintained.
Every year, around $2 billion is paid out to workers who get caught in or compressed by objects or equipment.
9. Strikes Against Objects or Equipment
Sometimes, workers may experience unavoidable collisions with objects or equipment. This may happen when workers are forced to work without proper lighting, a workplace has a low-hanging pipe, or equipment was not properly put away. These injuries can often be avoided if employers put up proper signage and make sure that workplace conditions are safe.
Over $1.8 billion is paid out each year for these kinds of workplace injuries.
10. Repetitive Motions Involving Micro-Tasks
This category most commonly involves desk workers without proper ergonomic support or enough breaks. Typing and doing other repetitive tasks when your desk and chair aren’t properly supportive can cause overuse injuries such as strains and tendonitis. Even if you have proper ergonomic support, you may suffer from overuse injuries if you are forced to work for several hours without breaks.
These kinds of repetitive motion injuries incur around $1.8 billion in payouts each year.
If you’ve been injured on the job, contact Hernandez Law Group, P.C. If your employer does not have workers compensation insurance or your injuries aren’t sufficiently covered by workers comp, it can leave you with a great financial burden. Juan Hernandez is one of only 2% of lawyers who are board-certified in personal injury law, so you can count on him to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.