Even when workplace supervisors work diligently to mitigate the risk of employee injuries, workers are still at risk for being hurt on the job. The worker’s compensation attorneys at Murnane & O’Neill examine three of the most common workplace injuries within recent years, and suggest what to do if you are injured at work.
Although jobs requiring physical labor are more commonly associated with workplace injuries, incidents can in fact occur at any time in any type of workplace setting. Understanding the injuries most commonly associated with the workplace, therefore, will help workers avoid putting themselves in danger. Below are some of the most common workplace injuries reported:
Strains and Sprains
During the time period between 2010 and 2014, almost a third of workers injured on the job suffered from injuries classified as either strains or sprains, according to The Travelers Companies. Strains occur in muscles and tendons, and can range from mild stretches to severe tears. Sprains can similarly range in severity, but occur in ligaments.
Sprains and strains can occur as the result of many different workplace practices, but most commonly result from handling workplace materials or supplies; from slips, trips, and falls on the job; and from recurring actions that cause overuse injuries over a period of months or years. Workers who suffer such injuries risk being out of work for periods ranging from a few days to weeks.
Cuts, Punctures and Lacerations
Nearly 20% of workers injured on the job between 2010 and 2014 suffered some sort of cut or skin puncture. Cuts are defined as a breakage or opening of the skin which often results in bleeding. Lacerations can be minor, moderate or severe in nature, ranging from a small nick to a large, life-threatening gash.
Skin lacerations are most likely to occur from an accident that involves tools, a collision with a piece of equipment or workplace object, or a bad fall.
A little over 10 percent of injured workers between 2010 and 2014 sustained tissue injuries, also known as contusions. Contusions can generally be recognized by the bruising they cause under the victim’s skin. Contusions can be the result of a prolonged or repeated action that causes bruising to a part of the body that is overused, or they can occur as the result of a singular accident.
In addition to overuse, other common causes for contusions include slips and falls, collisions and serious accidents involving equipment or heavy materials.
If you are injured on the job, it is important that you know your rights as an employee. Workers injured on the job are generally entitled to worker’s compensation—insurance coverage provided by the employer that guarantees assistance with medical fees and cost of living while the worker is disabled. Be sure to report the accident to your workplace as soon as possible in order to take full advantage of the benefits available to you.
If you are having trouble communicating with your employer about your workplace injury, or receiving benefits from your employer, it is important to reach out to a worker’s compensation attorney for guidance. A competent and experienced worker’s compensation attorney will be able to help you navigate the process and ensure that you are granted the benefits and support you deserve.
For more information on protecting your rights in the workplace, contact the worker’s compensation attorneys at Murnane & O’Neill today.