Workplace injuries can range from minor to severe and life-altering. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that employers reported a total of 2.6 million injury and illness cases in 2021. Becoming familiar with the common types of workplace injuries can help you identify possible dangers as you work.
The six most common types of workplace injuries include:
1.Slip and falls
2.Overexertion and muscle strains
3.Struck by objects
4.Crashes and collisions
5.Exposure to harmful environments
6.Fire and explosions
Slip & Falls
Slips, trips, and falls occur all too often in workplace environments. Examples can include slipping on icy, oily, or wet surfaces, tripping over clutter, or falling into unmarked holes. Other instances may include falling from ladders, roofs, and other raised areas. When these accidents occur, workers can sustain injuries such as cuts, broken teeth, facial fractures, and even concussions.
As outlined by the United States Department of Labor, federal law entitles workers to a safe workplace. It is the responsibility of your employer to keep your workplace free of harm and notify you of unsafe environments. In slip-and-fall situations, your employer may be held liable if they failed to provide workplace safety and health training or display caution signs and you were injured due to that negligence.
Overexertion and muscle strains can cause long-term debilitating pain. These injuries are often caused by improper lifting techniques, manually lifting overly heavy objects, microtasks or repetitive tasks on factory lines, and throwing objects. According to The Ohio State University, overexertion injuries can lead to “musculoskeletal disorder” that include symptoms of swelling, numbness, stiffness, and chronic pain.
Employers are responsible for providing proper safety training and protective gear to employees. In Connecticut, employers are also required to provide hourly employees with a period of thirty consecutive minutes for a meal in an eight-hour shift. If your overexertion injury or muscle strain is due to lack of training, inappropriate safety gear, or violation of hourly break regulations, you may have a case against your employer.
Struck by Objects & Equipment
Another common workplace accident that causes injury is being struck by objects or equipment. Examples can include falling debris and tools, being caught in machinery, heavy equipment tipping over, poorly guarded machinery, and excessive vibration. These scenarios at work can lead to workers suffering severe hand injuries, severed limbs or fingers, head injuries, fractures to the face, and more.
In the event that you have suffered an injury at work from being struck by an object, your employer may be held liable for negligence. Employer negligence occurs when the failure to take action results in illness, injury, or wrongful death. So, if your injury was due to your employer’s failure to properly secure equipment or continue to use outdated safety protocols they may be held liable.
Crashes & Collisions
Some workplaces require operating or being in close proximity to motor vehicles. Examples of injuries that can occur in these settings include falling from a vehicle or forklift, being struck by a vehicle, being struck by objects falling off a vehicle, and getting stuck underneath a work vehicle. Injuries from these types of accidents can range from broken bones, fractures, bruising, and even death.
In addition to providing training and safety gear, employers must also follow the OSHA forklift requirements. According to regulations, operators must be over 18 years of age and be recertified at least once every three years. By failing to provide you safety gear and practicing proper certification practices, your employer may be held liable for your injuries. Furthermore, if your injuries were due to a fellow employee’s malicious intent, you may have the grounds to sue your coworker.
Exposure to Harmful Environments
Workers who are in environments that are extremely loud or have hazardous chemicals risk injury to their ears, eyes, skin, and respiratory systems. Exposure to these environments without protective gear can lead to hearing loss, burns, cancer, vision damage, and brain damage.
Employers are required to provide personal protective equipment or PPE to workers. Examples can include gloves, harnesses, goggles, etc. Employers are also required to perform tests in the workplace such as air sampling to assure the safety of workers. Should your employer fail to provide these materials and proper health and safety training, they may be held responsible for your injuries due to negligence.
Fire & Explosions
Fires and explosions in the workplace can severely injure workers. Employees can suffer burns, disfigurement, and damage to their respiratory system. When these incidents occur, workers may sustain injuries from flying objects and debris, or by inhaling toxic substances.
Employers are responsible for providing proper training to employees on how to operate machinery. They are also responsible for providing protective gear and enforce safety practices and emergency protocols. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), “an emergency plan must be kept in writing, kept in the workplace, and available to employees for review.” If the employer has 10 or fewer employees, the plan may be communicated verbally. Failure to abide by these regulations may hold an employer responsible for worker injuries.
Injuries from fire and explosion accidents may also hold the equipment manufacturer at fault. Manufacturers are required to protect consumers by designing and assembling products that are safe for consumer use. Failure to do so and/or provide safety warnings with the product may hold them liable for consumer injuries.
Filing a Workplace Injury Lawsuit
Minor workplace injuries can result in lost wage and stress. In severe cases, workers who have lost limbs, vision, or suffered serious burns and disfigurement have catastrophic injuries. You may be entitled to receiving compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, future wages lost, and more. If you have sustained injuries in the workplace, get in touch with our attorneys at Fitzpatrick Santos Sousa Perugini P.C. to find out if you are eligible for workers’ compensation.
Don’t hesitate to find legal support for your injuries. Our attorneys at Fitzpatrick Santos Sousa Perugini P.C. can help you find a favorable outcome.
Call (203) 583-8299 or contact us online for a free consultation.