Particularly in high-risk jobs like construction, workplace injuries can be a significant concern. Every year, around seven million injuries happen while people are on the job.For those who suffer from work-related injuries and managers who want to prevent them, there are a few important steps that can be taken. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about dealing with work-related incidents and what you can do about workplace safety.
What Causes Workplace Injuries?
Depending on the industry, several circumstances could result in workplace injuries. Research from Liberty Mutual found that “overexertion” was the top cause of work-related injuries. This could include lifting, pushing, and pulling objects or repeatedly performing a physically demanding task.
This is likely the most common cause of injury because it is the most universal, regardless of the industry you work in, many jobs involve some sort of physical exertion. Other common causes include falls, tripping on objects, contact with machinery or hazardous materials, and slips or trips while on the job.
Common Workplace Injuries
Let’s take a look at some of the most common risks employees face while on the clock.
1. Spinal Injuries
Warehouse and factory workers, construction workers, and others who work in traditionally dangerous jobs aren’t the only ones at risk of falling and injuring their spines. Even office workers can be vulnerable to spinal injuries. These injuries can occur in a few different ways:
- Lifting heavy loads: When lifting heavy objects or even items that are too bulky, the spine can be put under immense pressure.
- Slips and falls: Slipping on a wet floor or falling from an elevated platform can result in significant spinal damage. In rare cases, it can result in a fracture.
- Injury from repetitive strain: Repetitive strain injuries, such as pulled muscles, torn ligaments, or microfractures, can sometimes cause spinal issues if they are left untreated.
Finding compensation for spinal injuries is usually essential, as these kinds of injuries can have long-lasting effects (and expenses).
2. Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the most common workplace injuries because they can be caused by a range of incidents from falls to contact with hazardous materials. These types of injuries can result in everything from memory loss and disorientation to paralysis and comas. If you experience any of the following symptoms after a workplace incident, you need to get medical help right away:
- Confusion or disorientation
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
3. Musculoskeletal Injuries
Musculoskeletal injuries are among the most common workplace injuries, and they can be caused by many of the same hazards that lead to spinal damage. Similar to spinal injuries, standing for long periods of time, lifting heavy objects, and repetitive activities can cause strain on the muscles and bones, damaging the musculoskeletal system.
Sprains, strains, and fractures are common musculoskeletal injuries caused by workplace accidents. These can be painful and restrict how much movement a person is able to do for days or even weeks at a time. In extreme cases, surgery may be needed.
4. Electric Shock
Electric shock injuries happen when someone is exposed to an electric current. This can be caused by faulty wiring, improper use of machines and tools, or contact with an electrical source that has not been adequately insulated. Effects of electric shock can vary depending on the strength and duration of the current, but they can range from minor skin burns to heart problems. Electric shock can also cause nerve damage and arrhythmias, which could require medical attention.
What to Do If You Get Injured At Work
If you have been injured while on the job, taking the following steps is vital.
1. Seek medical help immediately
If you fall, experience an electric shock, or are otherwise injured, you must seek medical help immediately. Even if the injury doesn’t appear serious at first, seeking medical care can help ensure that your health isn’t in danger. A good rule when deciding whether or not you need to seek medical attention is this: If the injury causes any kind of pain, numbness, or tingling sensation, you should get checked out by a doctor, even if it’s mild.
2. Contact your employer
If an injury happened while you were at work, there’s a good chance there will be someone at your workplace who is responsible for filing workers’ compensation claims. Inform your employer about the incident, and make sure to get a detailed record of what happened, who was involved, and when it took place. This can be used as evidence if you decide to pursue a claim for workers’ compensation benefits or other legal measures.
3. Document everything
It is important to record as much information about the incident as possible. This can help strengthen your case if you decide to pursue a workers’ compensation claim or other legal action. Make sure to document the date, time, location, witnesses (if any), and details of what happened leading up to the accident. Taking photos of the scene and any injuries can also be helpful.
4. Get a lawyer
If your injury was caused by another person’s negligence or recklessness, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. A good attorney will help guide you through the process of filing a claim and pursuing legal action if necessary.
5. Track your medical expenses
If you have been injured at work, it is essential to keep track of all your medical expenses. This includes bills from doctors, physical therapists, medications, and any other costs associated with the injury. By keeping an accurate record of all expenses, you can ensure that you are receiving the full compensation for your injuries that you are entitled to.
No matter what kind of injury you experience, it is vital to take action if it occurs at work. Seek medical attention immediately and contact your employer to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you are owed. Remember to take steps to prevent future injuries by following safety protocols and keeping your work environment as safe as possible.