Workers today are less likely to be injured on the job than they were a generation or two ago. Thanks in part to more stringent safety regulations and enforcement, 2.8 workplace injuries per 100 workers occurred in 2017—down from 10.9 per 100 in 1972, according to OSHA.
Still, there’s a long way to go, especially in some industries responsible for the bulk of serious injuries or deaths. Construction, for example, accounts for more than 20 percent of workplace fatalities in private industry, largely due to falls, object strikes, electrocutions, and caught in-between accidents.
But whatever work you do, it helps to be aware of the risks—both to avoid injury in the first place and so you’re prepared if you need to file a workers’ compensation claim. Here are some of the most common types of workplace injuries:
Slips, falls, and trips
According to the CDC, slips, falls, and trips make up 26 percent of nonfatal workplace injuries. Since serious injuries can occur from even a minor fall on an even surface, these injuries often result in days of missed work and expensive medical bills. They also occur in any type of work environment—from the machinery-filled warehouse to the carpeted office.
No matter what your work environment is like, be aware of potential trip hazards, like uneven flooring, loose carpeting, or objects where they shouldn’t be in trafficked areas. If you do trip or fall at work, report it immediately, document the scene, note any witnesses, and seek medical attention.
Motor vehicle crashes
Car or truck crashes are another common cause of workplace injury, and, unfortunately, one of the leading causes of worker deaths, according to the CDC. They’re also often one of the most misunderstood types of workplace accidents, since both workers’ comp and personal injury claims can be in play.
If driving is a part of your job, be sure you’re familiar with and comfortable in your vehicle. If you drive long hours, your employer is required to allow for regular breaks. (For example, 10 hour limits for passenger-carrying vehicle drivers or 30-minute breaks for truckers who’ve been on the road at least 8 hours.)
Violence in the workplace is increasingly common, with 10 percent of fatal workplace injuries due to violence, according to the CDC. Healthcare workers especially have seen a rise in reported incidents, with many more likely going unreported. According to OSHA, violent incidents are most likely to occur in industries where there’s money exchanged, contact with unstable people, or alcohol served. Late hours, remote worksites, or working alone can also contribute.
Be sure your employer has a plan to lessen the likelihood of workplace violence—one that includes violence prevention training, facilities management, and administrative controls.
When you need to call an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer
Workplace injuries can quickly derail your professional, personal, and financial life with missed time away, medical bills, and possibly even employer retaliation. And while workers’ compensation can help, the claims process can be complex and full of potential pitfalls.
If you’ve been injured on the job, you need an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney who knows how to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact the law offices of Laura Lanzisera today for a free consultation.