Workers Comp Injuries – Fall At Work?
Workers Comp Injuries can be minor or very serious. Its is best to know the basics, so here they are.
There are different levels of payment depending on the extent of the injury and the insurance coverage. But, it pays to be prepared for what you might be dealing with if you are dealing with Worker Comp injuries.
Falls at work are very common kinds of Workers Comp cases. A Chicago slip and fall lawyer is in business because slips and fallsare the number one cause of worker fatalities and injuries in Illinois and the United States. That’s according to OSHA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Here are the top examples of injuries in the workplace:
Slipping and Tripping
Slipping or tripping doesn’t just happen to stockboys at the local grocery store. It can happen at a big-time construction project, or on the way to the office break room. All it takes is a loose piece of carpet or something laying around where it shouldn’t be.
Some employees may fall and get right back up, no harm no foul and no workers comp injuries. Others can suffer serious injuries, which come with an even more serious price tag. In fact, the BLS reports that “Slips, trips and falls accounted for about 27 percent of cases involving days away from work in 2014.”
Falling From Heights
A trip walking on level ground is one thing, a fall from heights is a whole other story. You don’t necessarily have to worry about this one if you run an accounting firm on the 5th floor. You should be concerned if your guys are the ones who clean the windows up there, though.
Falling from multiple stories are the most extreme case, but there are other risks in this category. A person who falls from a ladder getting something from the backroom to bring on a sales floor is eligible for work injury compensation.
The same goes for roofers who slip while finishing up a project, or an electrical employee wiring stoplights.
Sitting, Sitting and Sitting
Let’s go back to that accounting firm, where your employees likely sit for most of the day. They may be in meetings, conferences, or at their desk, but they’re in the same position. Butt planted, hands on the keyboard or notepad and neck craned towards whatever they’re working on.
It may not sound strenuous. But over time, this position can take a toll on the body. We’re not just talking back pain and the need to stretch from time to time. Sitting for too long can cause organ problems, digestion issues and even muscle degeneration.
Workers' Comp Injuries From Walking Into Something
Most employees feel sluggish from sitting in just a few hours and will often take a break to walk around. Hopefully, they don’t walk into something. They may not notice the delivery cart in the hallway or the misplaced piece of equipment on a worksite.
Wherever your work takes place, always try to have a clear path. The least that could happen is a small bruise from hitting a dolly or a door. The worst, though, is more concerning than a work injury compensation claim.
Another injury employees are at risk of is overexertion. This is the cause of pulled or strained muscles from pushing the body past its limits. It can happen when lifting something heavy with incorrect form, or pushing a cart down the hall.
In addition to falls, overexertion and impact injuries (from moving equipment), account for the majority of accidents in the workplace. And that’s regardless of industry. That being said, construction workers do tend to take on the most risk when it comes to workplace safety.
Be aware, an employee doesn’t always have to be doing something directly related to their role in order to claim this kind of work injury compensation. Is your account manager helping move new furniture? Did a producer try to help the set team break something down?
What matters is if the injury happened on the job, not if it’s part of the job description.
Speaking of job descriptions, some people are so good at what they do that it almost feels natural. Writers can pretty much type with their eyes closed. Personal trainers have a handful of routines ready for any workout space and so on.
Although this is great for productivity, it can cause harm to the body. Repetitive motion injuries are what happens when muscles wear down from being used too much. You can try to offset their effect by encouraging breaks. Still, this injury is bound to happen from time to time.
Have you ever tried to avoid something, only to have it happen anyway? That’s the basic example of a reaction injury. This kind of harm occurs when an employee is trying to avoid danger but still gets hurt. They are harder Workers Comp injuries to prove, but are probably still valid.
He or she may jump out of the way of an incoming danger, only to run into something else. Or, their body might tense up and cause a strain on muscles – often in the neck or back area.
Although reaction injuries are a possibility, it sometimes pays to have good reflexes. Falling objects can cause a workplace injury in many fields. A heavy wire can slip on an entertainment set, a heavy piece of home decor can tip over in a stock room and more.
As such, it’s important to train employees to be alert and act with caution.
For anyone working on special equipment, proper training is particularly necessary. Otherwise, you’re leaving employees at risk to get injured. Machines are used in factories, for on-site projects and many things in between.
Despite their efficiency, they come with a noteworthy level of potential harm. Make sure everything is working properly before tackling the day’s work. Also, remind your team to check their clothing and go over protective measures.
It might sound tedious, but better to be safe than sorry. Here are some things that can happen otherwise:
- Electrical shock
- Broken bone
- Cuts and scarring
- Extreme burns
If your new marketing intern gets into an accident on the way to work, it’s not a case for work injury compensation. But, if you get in an accident on the way to a team retreat, that could be a different story.
Motor accidents can become a work-related issue when an employee is operating or riding in a company vehicle. Even a fender bender should be taken seriously because it can be a cause of whiplash or a concussion. Motor vehicle crashes cause some of the most common Workers Comp injuries.
OSHA reported that in 2015, 21.4 percent of worker fatalities occurred in construction. Predictably, the most frequently cited OSHA standard violated was protection against falls. Fall protection is followed by:
- Hazard communication (#2)
- Proper respiratory protection (#4)
- Properly function ladders and scaffolding (#7 and #3)
- Electrical system design (#10)
Workers Comp fall protection includes wiping up spills, even if they seem minor. It also includes using the proper caution signs to warn people that floors may be slippery. It’s simple, but slips and falls consistently remain at the top of the injury list for workers across the United States.
However, workplace injuries are not just confined to construction sites and factory floors. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the three industries with the most cases of injury and illness in 2014 were hospitals, schools and restaurants.
Despite these scary statistics, workplace injuries are sometimes not taken seriously. Especially in industries that are perceived as less dangerous. If you work in any of those industries and your employer is refusing to pay, you should talk to a Chicago Workers Comp lawyer.
You need the experience and expertise of a Chicago Workers Comp lawyer to ensure you receive the benefits you’re owed. Regardless of industry, you work hard and put yourself at risk every day.
Your work and dedication should be returned when your job ends up leading to an injury or illness that keeps you from work.
Sometimes, when a person has a fall when they are ‘on the clock,’ they have a potential Workers Comp case as well as a third-party case against the person or company that caused the dangerous condition.
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Handle a Work Injury Compensation Claim the Right Way
As much as you try to create a safe environment for your employees, you can’t prevent everything. Proper training and management only go so far. Make up the difference with professional support for when a work injury compensation claim ends up in your inbox.
Injury lawyers make the process much easier for you, your team members and your finances. The Law Office of Scott D. DeSalvo specializes in several different legal areas. You can learn more about our work injury and slip and fall services on our website or give us a call today! Call 312-500-4500.