You may be surprised to learn that an estimated 4.26 million work-related injuries occur annually. While this number includes a wide range of injury types, causes, and severity of the injury, it draws attention to a highly common problem in certain industries. Learn a few surprising facts about work-related injuries, including the most common causes and what you should do if you’re injured while at work.
More Work-Place Injury Statistics To Know
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds in the United States. This is equal to 540 work-related injuries per hour. Many of these injuries are preventable. Many injured workers may find it difficult to return to work for many months, years, or ever.
The NSC also reports that the construction industry makes up for the largest percentage of work-related injuries. Transportation and warehousing fall close behind in injury rates. Other potentially dangerous workplace industries include agricultural forestry, fishing and hunting, professional and business services, and manufacturing. A majority of the injuries in these industries are due to human error.
It’s not surprising that the construction industry accounts for the majority of injuries. Construction workers are often tasked with using heavy equipment. Many construction workers also conduct work in dangerous environments, including chemical plants, tall buildings, and on the side of roads with a lot of traffic. It’s also not just construction jobs that are at risk of injury. Even employees who work in business or IT may suffer repetitive strain, tripping, or slipping on wet floors.
The Most Common Work-Place Injury Causes
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA), through the United States Department of Labor, monitors safety risks at job sites all over the country. These are some of the most frequently cited OSHA standards:
- Fall protection
- Respiratory protection
- Hazard communication
- Fall protection training
- Control of hazardous energy
- Eye and face protection
This means that during OSHA inspections, the agency found that existing job sites didn’t have the property safety standards in place in each of these categories. Employers or job sites that don’t follow OSHA safety standards are likely to have more workplace injuries. Dangerous job sites can also contribute to high turnover rates in most industries.
How To Avoid a Work-Place Injury
Following OSHA standards in the workplace can also reduce injury risk. In fact, since OSHA began regulating job sites around the country, the average number of workplace fatalities on job sites has decreased from 38 to 13. Additionally, worker injuries are down from 10.9 injuries per 100 workers to 2.7.
In addition to the safety protocols set by OSHA, it’s also important for workers to follow employer training and rules. New laborers typically learn these protocols when training at a new job site. Ignoring these standards significantly increases the chances of being in an accident while at work.
Workers should also stay alert when on the job and stay up-to-date on training and recommended safety regulations. Appropriate workplace gear is also a must when working on a job site. OSHA-approved gear, including protective hard hats, goggles, and boots, can help to keep workers safe. Reflective gear is also especially important for workers who work at night.
Steps to Take if You’re Injured While at Work
Following certain steps following a work-related injury can ensure that you receive the care you need. Workers’ compensation is a requirement in most states. Employers who don’t carry sufficient insurance coverage can be financially liable if a worker is injured while on the job. As a construction laborer, you must follow your state’s reporting rules to ensure workers’ compensation covers you.
A few key requirements to qualify for workers’ compensation typically include:
- You must notify your employer of the injury within a specific period of time.
- You must file a claim to access your workers’ compensation benefits.
Specific rules vary, depending on your employer and the state in which you live. However, you should be covered if you incurred an injury while at work and your employer falls into the required worker compensation category. Employees who have difficulties filing their claim or feel their claim is wrongly denied may benefit from talking with a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers estimates that less than 40% of injured workers file a claim, even when they’re eligible for the benefits. Don’t skip out on the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve if you were injured while at work.
Regardless of where you are or what you’re doing, receiving prompt medical care is a must following a workplace injury. Let your employer know that you have been in an accident as soon as possible, and then seek medical care.
Construction workers are frequently exposed to the elements. They also often use heavy machinery and equipment, putting them in one of the highest-risk categories. A workplace injury can prevent a worker from earning a salary for many months, years, or sometimes permanently. That’s why states have put workers’ compensation laws in place to help injured workers pay their bills when a job affects their livelihood.