Workplace injuries are serious matters often resulting in fatal chemical exposure or leading to lifelong conditions. Even with focused attention on planning, education and personal protective equipment, workers are still injured at an alarming rate. Statistics released by the National Safety Council report that a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds. Across the United States, workers are hurt at a rate of 510 per hour or 12,600 per day.
According to the NSC’s workplace injury pamphlet, more than 85% of workplace injury events that led to lost work days fall into three categories:
- Overexertion: Roughly 33% of workplace injuries involve putting stress or strain on muscles or ligaments. This can be the result of lifting or lowering objects or repetitive motions. Even something as seemingly innocuous as typing for an office job day-in and day-out can lead to muscle stress.
- Contact with objects and equipment: Twenty-six percent of workplace injuries leading to lost workdays result from being struck. Workers can be struck by or trapped against equipment. They can be caught in or compressed by equipment. Workers can be struck, caught or crushed in collapsing structures, equipment or stacked materials.
- Slips, trips and falls: Nearly 26% of workplace injuries resulting in lost work time are in this category. Workers can fall from height or fall to the floor on the same level on which they are operating and become seriously injured.
Supervisors need to ensure the safety of their workers. This can mean providing the proper training and education necessary to keep workers safe. Additionally, it can mean providing the proper protective gear from respirators to gauntlets to harnesses for those working at heights. If you were injured or you lost a loved one in a work accident, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.