Workplace Injuries

For the year 2012, the reported number of workplace injuries reported by private industrial employers to the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reached almost three million. Injuries due to accidents in the workplace are definitely preventable; but this requires the strict compliance of managers and employers with the federal safety standards enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the observance of company policies and guidelines by all employees.

From the (almost) 3 million reported cases of non-fatal injuries, 340,900 were sustained through strains, sprains or tears; 177,580 were injuries to the back; and, 219,630 were due to trips, slips and falls. Reported cases of fatal injuries covering both the private and government sectors numbered to 4,628.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the five top work-related injuries include:

  • Overexertion injuries, which are caused by lifting, pulling or carrying heavy materials.
  • Slipping/Tripping, which is fall on same level, can be caused by tripping obstacles on the floor or by a wet floor.
  • Falling from heights, or fall to lower level, happens when a person drops from an elevated area, such as a stairway, roof or ladder.
  • Bodily reaction, which happens when a person slips or trips without falling. The sudden twist of the body can cause great, prolonged pains.
  • Falling object, which is a very common incidence, especially in construction areas, has often affected not only workers but pedestrians too.

Back injuries, which may result from any of the causes listed above, are the number one complaint of employees that has also led to billions of dollars in compensation insurance claims. OSHA, therefore, works tirelessly in strictly implementing the safety and health standards in the workplace. The Administration also obliges all employers to observe these standards, while simultaneously requiring all employees to act responsibly in observing caution while in the performance of their work.

Though a worker, who gets injured on the job, can apply for the benefits provided by the Workers’ Compensation, Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, explains in its website that such worker, under certain circumstances, also have the right to pursue further legal action against his/her employer or any other party that has liability for the accident and the resulting injury. This legal action will allow the injured worker to receive the compensation that he/she is (legally) entitled to receive.