Accidents happen in workplaces every day. Most are simple bumps and bruises. Others are much more serious. When discussing the types of accidents that result in lost productivity, lost workdays, medical intervention, and Workers’ Compensation claims, there are several types of injuries that make the list time and again.
Some of these personal injuries involve one-time accidents; others are due to repeated exposure to danger. In all cases, the injuries that affect workers are largely preventable when the right precautions are taken. For that reason, it is useful for employers to review the list of common injuries and take time to evaluate if the conditions in their workplaces open their employees up to preventable hazards that could lead to job-related accidents.
The list of common workplace accidents includes the following:
- Cuts and gashes. Lacerations can happen in many different work settings, but kitchen workers and craftsmen are at particular risk of being cut using sharp tools.
- Burns. Another common injury in restaurant kitchens is burn injuries. Firefighters are another group whose jobs create a risk of burns. Workers who handle hot tools or chemicals are also in danger of being burned.
- Trips, slips, and falls. Any workplace can be the site of an accident from a person tripping over an object or a hazard such as a snag in a carpet. Slipping on a wet walking surface is another common incident that causes a significant amount of workplace accidents.
- Bodily reaction events. Sometimes a person becomes injured even when they are able to keep themselves from falling. If a person encounters a slippery floor or an uneven walking surface, they may be able to prevent a fall but still hurt themselves. Twisting or jerking their bodies to avert a fall can cause serious injuries even if impact with the ground is miraculously avoided.
- Falls from heights. Workers who perform their jobs on ladders, high platforms, or scaffolds are in danger of this type of fall. Falling from high work surfaces is a common cause of injury for roofers and construction workers. Tree removal crews perform work that creates a similar fall danger.
- Injuries from falling objects. Threats from falling objects are another type of workplace danger that is common in construction or home maintenance jobs. Retail workers are also at risk of being hit by a falling object, particularly if they are employed in a warehouse setting, such as those used by popular online retailers. On a smaller scale, even an office worker could be struck by a box or heavy object falling from a high shelf.
- Overexertion accidents. Accidents in which the victim becomes injured when attempting to lift or move a heavy object are known as overexertion injuries. When a person tries to pick something up that is too big or heavy for them, it can cause muscle strains or other injuries. Workers should be trained on how to lift safely. Even better, employers should provide lifting equipment that minimizes the need for people to use their bodies to move heavy objects.
- Incidents involving tools and machinery. Forklifts are common culprits when it comes to dangerous workplace machinery. Forklifts can cause a number of accidents, including ride-overs, collisions, falling loads, and rollovers. Forklifts, among other workplace machines, can cause someone to be caught underneath the instrument or pinned against another structure. Machines can cause injury if a person’s hand or another body part were to become lodged in its moving parts.
- Transportation accidents. Truck drivers, bus drivers, and other transportation workers can become injured in traffic accidents.
- Violent situations. Unfortunately, workers have been known to become injured as a result of violent incidents in the workplace that involve a volatile exchange with a disgruntled co-worker or an unhappy customer. In other cases, a worker may become injured after an altercation with an animal, such as the proverbial mailman who gets bitten by a dog.
- Environmental dangers. Workers have been known to suffer injuries from the work environment. These injuries often take years to develop. Environmental dangers present in many workplaces include airborne toxins, chemical exposures, and loud noises that can cause damage to hearing.
- Repetitive motion injuries. Another type of injury that takes time to develop is a repetitive motion injury. Often associated with typing or assembly line work, these injuries can develop in any number of industries. Supermarket check-out clerks, restaurant wait staff, machine repair personnel, bakers, cleaners, and seamstresses all perform work that puts them at risk of developing a repetitive motion injury.
Although this is by no means an exhaustive catalogue of every possible workplace injury, this list provides a good review of the types of accidents for which employers should be aware. Knowing which workplace accidents cause accidents can provide insight into the changes that might be required on the worksite, store, kitchen, or office to give employees the best chance of staying safe while performing their job functions.
It makes sense for employers to invest energy and resources into workplace safety. The most prominent reason is that they owe it to their employees. Employers have a legal duty to provide a safe workplace. Second, it makes business sense to keep employees safe and healthy so that productivity and morale are kept high. Finally, a healthy and safe workplace makes sense for employers, since they will undoubtedly want to avoid accident claims being filed through their Workers’ Compensation insurance.
New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC Represent Workers Hurt on the Job
If you were hurt at work, you should be able to collect compensation for the costs of your injury, including any medical expenses related to the injury as well as any lost income suffered as a result of the workplace accident. The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC will help you to understand the process as well as your rights. We can support your claim and ensure you receive the settlement you deserve. Call us at 856-751-7676 or contact us online for a free consultation. Our offices are in Mount Laurel, Cherry Hill, Trenton, and Vineland, New Jersey; and Trevose, Pennsylvania. We serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.