Workplace injuries run a continuum from minor to deadly, and the circumstances that give rise to workplace injuries are as varied as the individuals who experience them. Some injuries are simply more common than others, though, and knowing which injuries are the most common can help you take safety precautions that help you avoid injury and the aftermath, including recovery, that will follow.
Here are the top 10 injuries, listed by top insurance companies around the country, in order from most to least prevalent.
- Overexertion. Overexertion is caused by overuse of a muscle or group of muscles, or when a muscle or joint is moved in a dangerous way. For example, when you overextend your arm or shoulder when lifting a heavy object, you may suffer an overexertion injury.
- Slip (or Trips) and Falls. As the name implies, slip (or trips) and fall injuries occur when you slip on the floor or any
surface. These injuries frequently occur due to wet or debris-filled surfaces; but rushing to your work station, the wrong shoes, and similar factors can be contributing culprits.
- Falling to a Lower Level. Falling to a lower level – such as when a construction worker falls off of a roof – is common in construction and maintenance jobs. These injuries can be fatal if the impact is too forceful or the fall covers a great distance.
- Bodily Reaction. We’ve all taken steps to prevent a fall – throwing out your hands, reaching for a wall, or enlisting the assistance of a friend. Bodily reaction injuries occur when you try to avoid an injury but the strategy you use causes the injury. For example, if you trip over a wire and throw out your hands to break your fall, you’ve suffered a bodily reaction injury if you break your wrist.
- Struck by Object. From items falling off shelves to reckless co-workers who throw or drop things in the workplace, being struck by an object is a common – and potentially dangerous – source of serious injuries, including concussions.
- Struck Against Object. When employees fall into or are forced against objects, they can suffer serious injuries. For example, a warehouse worker might stumble into a refrigerator or tractor, leading to broken bones or head injuries.
- Car Accidents. Many workers’ job duties include driving, and car accidents are a common source of workplace injuries. From whiplash to lacerations and broken bones, professional drivers such as truckers are especially vulnerable to these injuries when they work long hours, are poorly rested, or are under stress to travel quickly.
- Machinery Accidents. Machinery accidents are among the most devastating workplace accidents because they can be fatal. Workers that handle large machinery face equally large risks. They can experience the loss of a limb from a malfunctioning device, suffer an injury from using heavy machinery incorrectly, or incur harm when an employer doesn’t properly maintain this equipment.
- Repetitive Motion Injuries. Repetitive motion injuries include muscle strains and sprains, as well as long-term conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Common in jobs that require repetitive movements, such as computer programming or manufacturing, these injuries can lead to long-term disability.
- Workplace Violence. Workplace violence is frighteningly common, with 375 workers shot on the job in 2012 alone. Robberies gone wrong and violence from co-workers – including sexual assault, fighting, and planned assaults – can lead to life-threatening injuries and long-term psychological struggles.
Knowing what the most common injuries are can increase everyone’s knowledge allowing them to take the necessary precautions and proceed with safety in mind. However, injuries cannot be prevented entirely. If you have been injured at work and need the assistance of an experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney, contact McDivitt Law Firm for a FREE consultation.