Workplace injuries are an unfortunate occurrence that affects many people each year. The accidents cause pain and loss of finances for workers and employers. Research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2015 showed that approximately 2.9 million workers in the USA sustained workplace injuries and illnesses. However, the type of compensation for injuries varies from state to state, as do the laws governing workers in that area.
Employers sometimes delegate other people the responsibility for their worker’s safety, but if any injury occurs to an employee, it definitely becomes the employer’s fault. Employers have an obligation to protect their workers through:
- Providing first aid kits and training
- Provide proper safety equipment
- Comply with the set safety standards
For an injury to be covered by workers’ compensation, it must have occurred while you were still working and was caused by the job. Also, the injury must have caused you to miss work.
Injuries Covered by Worker’s Compensation
Slips, Trips, and Fall Injuries
Falling, tripping, and slipping are the leading causes of workplace injuries. They cause physical injuries like sprains, strains, cuts, broken bones, and back and head injuries. If you get injured at work, seek medical attention and immediately report the incident to your employer.
After a workplace accident, workers suffer monetary losses and intangible losses such as emotional and psychological distress. Some mental health conditions caused by work-related stress include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety. Since emotional injuries are often invisible and hard to diagnose, you need to hire experienced workers’ compensation legal advocates to help you provide evidence to be eligible for compensation.
These injuries (muscle strains, sprains, and back and neck injuries) occur when an employee exerts too much pressure on muscles or joints. Most injuries occur when lifting heavy objects improperly without using the right lifting techniques. A strain on a muscle or joint occurs when pushing or pulling heavy objects. Other exertion injuries arise from holding or carrying heavy objects for a long time, and repetitive stress injuries occur in the shoulders, hands, and wrists caused by repetitive motions.
Back and Spine Injuries
Back injuries occur due to lifting heavy objects, vibration, repetitive motion, or falls and can devastate someone’s life. Spinal cord injuries take a long time to recover, no matter how minor. This can lead to extended absenteeism from work. While working, always lift objects using the right lifting techniques and use mechanical aids for lifting heavy objects.
Illness Caused By Harmful Substances or Environment
Employees can contract diseases as a result of harmful substances in the workplace. A common example is asbestos exposure, which causes cancer. Other toxic substances in the workplace are chemicals such as acids and solvents, gases like ammonia and carbon dioxide, and dust from metals. These substances can cause skin and eye injuries, nervous system injuries, and respiratory injuries.
These accidents occur mostly among people in the transportation industry. The common types of transportation in this category are rail vehicles, aircraft, and water-related accidents. However, for a transportation accident to be eligible for workers’ compensation, it has to have occurred when an individual is on job-not while heading to or from work. So, if you’re driving a company’s vehicle or making delivery on behalf of your employer, the claim may apply.
Accidents at workplaces are common regardless of the industry or the type of job. If you get injuries while working, inform your employer. Then seek medical attention even if the injuries seem minor. A medical record will support your claim. An employer should hire an experienced workers’ injury lawyer to help them navigate the compensation system.