The average workers’ compensation insurance policy can provide benefits to a worker who has been injured for all sorts of reasons. Everything from serious injuries suffered in a car accident and illnesses contracted while helping a sick to mental health difficulties due to unavoidable stressors of the job can all be valid reasons to file for workers’ compensation in most states. There are simply too many reasons to file for workers’ compensation to list in one place, but we can take a look at 10 of the most common reasons to get some insight into what accidents and mistakes happen often in workplaces around the country.
10 of the most common reasons workers get hurt and need workers’ comp are:
- Drug overdoses: Starting with what might be the most startling reason on this list, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has seen a sharp rise in unintentional drug overdoses while on-the-clock since 2012. Every year, around 300 workers will die in this tragic manner. While this number is low compared to other reasons for using workers’ comp benefits – in this case, death benefits given to family members – it is worth mentioning since the rate is rising predictably each year.
- Electrocution: In construction and industrial settings, electrocution hazards are a serious issue. Only certified electricians should be allowed to work on any electrical components or wiring. Other employees should keep clear of the workstation to avoid interfering with the electrician and to prevent accidentally coming into contact with live wires, which can be deadly.
- Hit by falling objects: Practically every workplace setting has a risk of being hit by a falling object, from filing cabinets tipping over in an office to a product falling off a top shelf in a retail store. Any “struck by” accident should be taken seriously if the falling object hits a worker in the head, even if they report that they are feeling fine afterward.
- Machinery accidents: Wherever there is manufacturing or demolition to be done, there will be heavy machinery and industrial equipment. Workers who are not safety certified to use industrial machinery put themselves and others at risk of serious injuries, such as crush injuries, degloving injuries, etc.
- Overexertion: As benign as it might seem at a glance, overexertion is a serious problem in many workplaces. Pushing yourself too far can cause you to pull a muscle, tear a ligament, twist a joint, and so forth. It is always best to rest and seek help when you need to conduct a physical activity that could be strenuous. Something as simple as moving a case of paper can lead to a workers’ compensation claim if you are not careful.
- Slip-and-fall accidents: Loose debris, lifted carpeting, slick tiles, stray cables, and more all pose serious slip-and-fall hazards. Employers need to enforce strict cleaning and upkeep rules around their workplaces to ensure that such hazards are always cleared before someone gets hurt.
- Vehicle accidents: In various industries, driving is a day-to-day part of the job. Whether you are a food courier, mail service provider, or a police officer, you probably spend the better part of your day in your car. It might come as no surprise, then, to learn that vehicle and transportation accidents are among the leading reasons why people file for workers’ comp.
- Assault and battery: Based on data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), healthcare providers, probation officers, utility workers, retail workers, and rideshare drivers are all at an inordinately high risk of being assaulted or robbed at work. As long as you did not intentionally start the fight, you can get workers’ comp if you are injured during a conflict with another person or even an animal.
- Burn injuries: Open flames, hot surfaces, and caustic chemicals cause countless burn injuries among workers each year. Many incidents are only first-degree burns that quickly heal. Third-degree burns are life-changing, though, and often make injured employees miss weeks or months of work if they are not permanently disabled.
- Toxic exposure: Several industries put employees in frequent contact with caustic and dangerous substances, like high-grade cleaners or toxic minerals. Workers must be provided protective safety gear whenever they are instructed to work around such substances, or they could fall ill. Toxic exposure incidents at work hit the headlines recently after scores of groundskeepers – and consumers at home – argued that Monsanto’s RoundUp weed killer spray caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a rare and deadly form of cancer.
Attention workers in Orland and Central Florida: If you have been hurt for any reason while on-the-job, call (407) 967-5377 to connect with Van Dingenen Law. Our workers’ compensation attorneys have more than 25 years managing difficult claims and securing hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. We would like to see if we can help you after a workplace injury as well.