The most common workplace injuries are from overexertion, same-level slips, falls to another level, and workers who are struck by another object. According to the National Safety Council, in 2020, the most common workplace injury was from exposure to harmful substances and environments, due in large part to COVID-19.
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
Types of Accidents in the Workplace
According to a report by OSHA, the most commonly cited standards violations in the 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.
Ways To Reduce or Prevent the Common Workplace Accidents
There are steps that workers and employers can take to reduce the number and significance of workplace injuries and illnesses. Measures they can take include:
- Developing adequate safety programs
- Educating employees on workplace safety
- Ensuring the availability and enforcing the use of safety equipment
- Using assistive equipment to prevent overexertion
- Installing safety guards, warning signs, and safety rails
- Using proper ergonomics to avoid repetitive motion injuries
Additionally, workers who suspect that their employer is not in compliance with OSHA regulations should report workplace hazards to their supervisors. If necessary, workers should report these workplace hazards to OSHA as soon as possible and request to have an inspection of their facility completed.
What To Do After a Workplace Accident
Wondering what to do after a workplace accident? To preserve and assert a valid claim for workers’ compensation, there are steps you can take following a workplace accident.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you think that your injuries are minor, the best practice is for you to visit the doctor to be examined. Some injuries may not show up for hours or days after the accident. Seeing a doctor right away makes sure that you have an evidentiary link between the accident and subsequent injuries.
Report the Injury to Your Employer
Illinois law requires that injured workers report on-the-job injuries to their employer no more than 45 days after the accident or injury. Exceptions may apply, but waiting past the deadline may prevent you from successfully filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
A workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to help you investigate and file a workers’ compensation claim. He or she may help you gather the appropriate evidence and present your claim. He or she may also communicate with third parties – such as your employer and his or her insurance company – on your behalf.