According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the number of work related fatalities has declined by more than 65 percent in the last few decades, and work related illnesses have declined by an impressive 67 percent. Unfortunately, even with more advanced safety equipment and enhanced safety programs and practices, 4,679 workers lost their lives due to workplace accidents in 2014, and thousands more were injured.
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While many workplace injuries are only minor and often go unreported, oftentimes the injuries are so severe that they result in permanent mental or physical disabilities that are detrimental to the employee’s occupational and personal life. While an experienced workers compensation lawyer can often help injured workers and their families obtain compensation for lost past and future wages, medical expenses and other damages that are a result of the injury, permanent damages still remain. Perhaps the key solution is to recognize the risks and learn how to prevent such injuries in the first place.
10 Most Common Workplace Injuries
Recognizing workplace hazards that result in the most common workplace accidents and implementing safety programs that reduce, or even eliminate those risks is quite possibly the most effective way to keep American workers safe.
- Same Level Falls
- Struck by Object or Equipment
- Falls to Lower Level
- Bodily Reactions or Other Exertions
- Motorized Vehicle Accidents
- Slip or Trip with No Fall
- Caught or Compressed by Machinery
- Repetitive Motions
- Struck Against an Object
Most Cited Violations
According to a report by OSHA, the most commonly cited standards violations in fiscal year 2015 were:
- Fall Protection
- Hazard Communication Standard
- Scaffolding Requirements
- Respiratory Protection
- Lockout/ Tagout Requirements
- Powered Industrial Trucks.
Preventing workplace injuries is a two way street that involves the cooperation of both workers and employers. By developing adequate safety programs and educating employees, ensuring the availability and enforcing the use of safety equipment, using assistive equipment to prevent overexertion, installing safety guards, warning signs and safety rails, and using proper ergonomics to avoid repetitive motion injuries, the number and significance of workplace injuries and illnesses is almost certain to be reduced. Additionally, workers who suspect that their employer is not in compliance with OSHA regulations should report workplace hazards to their supervisors, and if necessary to OSHA as soon as possible and request to have an inspection of their facility completed.