What are the most common Work-related accidents and injuries?

Author : Joseph Franks | Published On : 14 Sep 2021

Every job or profession comes with unique risks, which is why there is always a possibility of getting injured at work. Work-related injuries are unfortunate for the employee and the employer; the former has to endure pain, and the latter has to compensate for it financially. The only way to avoid workplace accidents is to maintain a safe working environment and individually take all necessary precautions. Even so, the most vigilant organizations can encounter mishaps; luckily, worker’s compensation insurance helps pull through the loss.

1. Slips, Falls, and Trips

Almost 40% of workplace injuries are the result of a slip, trip, or fall. While such accidents are usually associated with construction workers, they can occur at all kinds of work sites, including factories, offices, and outdoor spaces. Slippery/wet surfaces, working at heights/on ladders, clutter/obstructions, uneven footing, and tangled cords/ropes/wires are common causes of slip and fall accidents. Sustained injuries include broken bones/fractures, bruises/lacerations, muscular strain/sprains, as well as serious head and spine injuries.

2. Repetitive motion injuries

Repetitive motions at work lead to repetitive strain injuries (RSIs), typically causing damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves around the joints. RSIs may trigger shooting pains, numbness, weakness, tremors, and burning sensations that hinder our ability to perform everyday tasks. Sometimes, employers do not take RSIs seriously and refuse to compensate; in that case, you must consult Personal Injury Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL, to initiate a lawsuit. RSIs can lead to terminal illness or permanent disability, which may require lifelong treatment for managing symptoms.

3. Overexertion

Working overtime or without breaks is naturally exhausting. Individuals who practice strenuous mental or physical exercises on the job must not work beyond their capacity. Taking a break every now and then is crucial for replenishing energy and sanity. Overexertion can lead to anxiety, anemia, physical & mental distress, muscle soreness/stiffness, loss of consciousness, excruciating migraines, and even a nervous breakdown. The fatigue caused by overworking makes a person more susceptible to workplace injuries. They may feel drowsy while operating dangerous machinery and hurt themselves due to delayed reaction time. 

4. Ergonomic injuries

Ergonomic injuries are caused by prolonged bad postures, repetitive motion, or long-term exposure to uncomfortable temperatures and vibrations. Common work-related ergonomic injuries include chronic back pain, neck & shoulder injuries, tendinitis, carpel tunnel syndrome, and tennis elbow. Comfortable furniture, work breaks, and availability of the correct PPE (personal protection equipment) is required to prevent this class of injuries.

5. Transportation accidents

Use of any kind of vehicle on the job such as a truck, car, bike, or forklift poses the risk of a transportation accident. Couriers and delivery drivers are often required to travel long distances through adverse traffic conditions. Fatal auto accidents can lead to chronic injuries, permanent disabilities, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Transportation accidents can occur on the work site or while the driver is using the vehicle to perform external tasks, such as delivering goods to a customer’s home. Even though the vehicle was not within the work premises, it shall still be considered a work-related accident because the claimant was on duty.

6. Collisions and Punctures

Lack of housekeeping and workplace maintenance may lead to collisions with stationary objects or skin punctures from contact with sharp articles. All tools and equipment should be stored properly to avoid these accidents; moreover, the employer must provide training and instructions for safe operation. Collisions may also occur between two workplace vehicles, such as forklifts used to move stuff from one point to another. Puncture wounds can run deep and require ample time to heal.

7. Fires, Explosions, and Electrocution

Faulty electricity connections, bare wiring, improper storage of explosive substances, and lack of warning signs may cause fires, explosions, and electrocution. Accidents of this nature result in the most severe consequences, including third degree burns, irreversible disfigurement, respiratory damage, cardiac arrest, and wrongful death. These types of accidents also occur when plumbing/water connections intersect with electrical sockets or wiring. All electric equipment should be properly insulated and plumbing issues should be fixed right away. Explosive materials should be sealed in a an area that is away from all kinds of reactive agents.

8. Exposure to Toxic substances

Inhalation of toxic fumes or skin contact with a reactive substance can cause external and internal injuries. Any hazardous chemicals or fluids at the workplace should be stored properly and labelled. Workers must use personal protection equipment like safety goggles and gloves while handling potentially harmful stuff. Proper ventilation and a supply of oxygen for emergencies situations is a necessity. 

9. Heavy Falling objects

Industrial and construction workers often get hit by heavy falling objects, causing them serious physical injuries. Improper technique for lifting heavy stuff and storage of bulky items at high altitudes raises the probability of these accidents. Heavy objects should be stored on ground level, and they should be lifted with powerful machinery rather than depending on manual power.

10. Workplace Violence

Conflicts and rivalries at work are quite common in every field. Coworkers may become aggressive and stoop to physical violence during fights or arguments. Unfortunately, worker’s compensation insurance does not normally cover injuries sustained by these incidents as they are outside the scope of work.