According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 2.8 million nonfatal workplace-related injuries reported in 2017. This equates to 2.8 cases for every 100 full-time employees in the United States. In addition to reported workplace injuries, 50,000 workers are killed on the job every year. Any employee can suffer an injury in almost any workplace, if the employer does not take the responsibility to ensure a safe working environment for employees.
Employees should also take some responsibility for their own safety by exercising caution on the job. Regardless of the type of work, all occupations carry the risk of job-related injuries. California require employers to carry workers’ compensation for the benefit of employees who are injured while performing work duties that benefit the employer.
The number one cause of injury for employees is caused by lifting, carrying, throwing, pushing, or pulling actions that result in overexertion-type injuries. Many other injuries such as bending, kneeling, twisting, or standing in one place too long can result in injury. These injuries can happen to any employee at any time without warning.
Serious injuries can result from falling objects dropped by another person or accidentally falling from an overhead shelf or bin. This type of accident primarily causes head injuries and cause serious, traumatic problems. These injuries are preventable by making sure the environment is free of these hazards. Some industries require employees to wear hard hats to prevent serious injury.
Factories with heavy equipment and machinery require protective equipment to avoid these accidents, but a lack of caution can result in injuries to fingers, arms, legs or other body parts.
Slipping or Tripping
This is the second most common cause of workplace injuries. These injuries are caused by wet, slippery floors or by objects lying on the floor in unexpected places. Most employers have safety guidelines for cleaning up spills and removing debris from walkways.
Repetitive Motions Tasks
Even office workers are subject to injuries from performing repetitive tasks such as using the computer or leaning over a desk for an extended time. Strained muscles and tendons can cause back pain. Poor workstation locations with limited lighting can cause vision problems from eyestrain. Repeated wrist motion can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
Cuts or Lacerations
All types of office equipment can cause serious cuts that require immediate medical attention. Power saws, drills, and even paper trimmers can be dangerous if not used properly. These accidents sometimes occur if employees are not properly trained or if safety procedures are not followed.
Toxic Fumes Inhalation
The air in some workplaces may be dangerous. Employees may be subjected to fumes, gases, and harmful vapors. This can cause breathing problems, eye problems, and skin irritations that result in serious injury. Employers must provide protection equipment such as goggles to help prevent injuries.
Loud Noise Exposure
Even with safety equipment in place, loud workplace noise can cause hearing damage or loss over time. Hearing damage caused by loud sudden or prolonged noise can cause disabling or permanent hearing loss.
Worker’s Compensation Benefits for Injured Workers
All employers in California are required to have worker’s compensation insurance and must make payments to any employee injured or disabled at the workplace. It does not matter who is at fault for the injuries. It is a form of insurance that covers injuries resulting from carelessness by employers or employees.
Expenses Covered by Worker’s Comp
Worker’s compensation is designed to cover medical care expenses resulting from an injury or illness and provide replacement income, which usually amounts to about two-thirds of the worker’s average wages. It also compensates for permanent injuries, which occurred at the workplace. Worker’s comp is tax-free. If applicable, it may pay for any necessary retraining at the safe workplace in a different position.
When to Consult a Worker’s Compensation Attorney
In most cases, injured employees receive worker’s comp benefits without encountering any problems, but there are some exceptions. If problems arise, it is important to consult a worker’s comp attorney immediately for advice and direction. Most worker’s comp attorneys offer a free consultation. They understand that the entire process can intimidate some employees who are injured in the workplace. A consultation can help a person determine if the case requires the expertise of a trained worker’s comp attorney. Several scenarios may require the expert advice of an attorney.
- An employer may deny a claim or delay paying benefits.
- The employer offers a low settlement that does not cover all medical expenses or lost wages.
- The employer retaliates because the employee filed a claim.
- If medical issues prevent returning to a prior job, due to a permanent injury or disability.
- The employer does not have worker’s comp insurance.
Many employees who are injured on the job feel intimidated by the process of filing for worker’s comp. Many feel they are not up to meeting the challenge and seek professional assistance from a worker’s comp attorney who is trained to help injured workers secure their entitled benefits.
IF YOU THINK YOUR JOB DUTIES ARE AFFECTING YOUR PHYSICAL OR MENTAL HEALTH IN ANY WAY—EVEN JUST A LITTLE BIT—YOU NEED TO CALL US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
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