Every seven seconds, an employee is injured on the job, according to the National Safety Council. These accidents not only impact employees physically but pose significant challenges for businesses and their operations. However, many of these incidents are preventable with the right precautions. This article explores the different types of workplace injuries and outlines strategies to minimize them.
If you’ve experienced a work-related injury, it might be beneficial to seek legal advice. An attorney specializing in workers’ compensation can provide guidance and help you navigate the process. If you’re looking for more information straight from the expert, visit their website here.
Common Occupational Injuries
Slips, Trips and Falls
One of the significant sources of workplace injuries is slipping or tripping, leading to falls. These accidents might result in head injuries, back injuries, or broken bones. To prevent these, businesses should ensure immediate clean-up of spills, install signage to warn employees of wet floors, and provide handrails in high-traffic areas. Non-slip footwear can also be beneficial.
Injuries such as strains often occur when employees handle heavy loads without proper equipment or technique. To decrease the likelihood of these injuries, businesses should encourage the use of safety harnesses, back braces, and lifting aids. Regular training on safe lifting practices and educational materials can also enhance employee awareness.
Repetitive Strain Injuries
These injuries are typically seen in jobs involving repetitive tasks. Regular breaks, ergonomic workstations, and regular health check-ups can mitigate the risk of these injuries.
Sharp objects, such as box cutters or letter openers, can cause cuts or lacerations. Proper training on tool usage, maintaining office equipment, and furniture in good condition can prevent these injuries.
Collisions and Crashes
Employees operating vehicles or machinery are prone to collisions and crashes. Regular background checks, training, and drug testing can help reduce these incidents.
Employer’s Responsibility for Work-related Injuries
Most businesses are mandated by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance covers a portion of an employee’s regular wages while they recover from a work-related injury or illness. However, it’s important to note that workers’ compensation laws do not cover some types of workers, such as independent contractors or railroad workers.
Determining if Your Injury is Work-related
For an injury to qualify for workers’ compensation, it must occur while performing job-related tasks or within the employment premises. If the injury is deemed work-related, the employer is legally required to provide the necessary paperwork for a workers’ compensation claim.
Workplace Injury Compensation Coverage
Employer’s insurance coverage should handle all medical bills related to the injury. This includes payments for services like x-rays, medications, and other necessary medical care. The employer is also responsible for maintaining records of all incidents.
When Workers’ Compensation Isn’t an Option
For workers not covered by workers’ compensation laws, other options may exist. For instance, federal employees are covered by the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act, while railroad employees are covered by the Federal Employment Liability Act.
In instances where a work-related injury results in death, the deceased worker’s dependents are usually provided with death benefits. The specifics of these benefits can vary based on collective bargaining agreements and state laws.
Workplace safety is crucial for both employees and employers. By implementing safety measures and ensuring proper compensation coverage, businesses can create a safe, productive work environment. If an injury occurs, it is essential to understand your rights and responsibilities to ensure the best possible outcome.