Workers’ compensation exists because workplace accidents occur far too frequently. The primary purpose of workers’ comp is to make sure that the employees injured in these accidents have the time and resources they need to heal, but there is a secondary benefit to documenting these accidents. By keeping track of the most common workers’ comp claims and their causes, local governments and employers can enact new regulations that make the workplace safer.
There are well-documented statistics on the top fiver worker’s compensation claims. Understanding these claims and what causes can help you prevent them in your workplace. Additionally, if you have been injured by one of these kinds of accidents, chances are you have a strong chance for a successful workers’ compensation claim.
5 – Repetitive Stress Injuries
Repetitive stress injuries are conditions that occur as a result of repeated activity, such as starting at a computer too long, frequent wrist strain, or consistently lifting heavy objects. These injuries account for about 4% of all workers’ compensation claims and can lead to chronic conditions such as carpal tunnel, tendonitis, damaged vision, and degenerative disc disease.
Preventing these injuries can be difficult. The best means you have to stop them is to take note of what you or your employees do on a daily basis and research what types of injuries can occur from these repeated movements. You can then distribute educational materials about these types of injuries along with suggestions for how to prevent them.
4 – Accidents Involving Machinery & Tools
Roughly 7% of all workers’ compensation claims involve the misuse of tools or machinery. Power tools and heavy machinery should only be used by employees who have been thoroughly trained and have proven that they can use them responsibly. These employees should also be reassessed every year to make sure they are still practicing proper safety protocols.
Even the most diligent worker can make a mistake that leads to an accident, but when everyone understands the risks and takes them seriously, the risk of accidents is significantly decreased.
3 – Hit by an Object
These are one of the most unforeseen workplace injuries, and yet they account for about 10% of all workers’ compensation claims. Even small obstacles falling from a great height can cause serious injury or even death. These injuries are most common on construction sites, but they can also occur in office spaces or convenient stores when something is not securely placed on a high-up shelf.
Employees should be reminded of the dangers of fallen objects and how important it is to have things secure when in a high place. Even a small box of nails placed near the edge of scaffolding can lead to a traumatic accident.
2 – Slip & Fall Accidents
The “classic” personal injury claim is called that for a reason. In workers’ comp cases alone, slip and falls account for about 16% of all cases. A number of things can cause a slip and fall accident, including:
- Objects left on the floor
- Exposed wiring
- Wet floors
- Uneven flooring
- Dim lighting
- Broken concrete
- Torn carpet
Many of these hazards are commonplace in a construction site. You can help prevent slip and fall accidents by blocking off these areas or by making sure there are plenty of warning signs for employees. Simply being aware of the risk of a slip and fall hazard goes a long way in preventing these accidents.
1 – Material Handling
Accounting for about 32% of all workers’ compensation claims, handling materials is by far the most common risk factor for employees. “Material handling” involves lifting heavy objects, which can result in awkward postures, respective movements, and even exposure to toxic chemicals.
Workplaces should strive to mitigate the need for material handling as much as possible. Purchasing new technology, setting up a rotating schedule for movers, reducing the distance materials need to be moved, and making sure there is clear space when material lifting is needed can all help prevent injuries.
If you have been injured in any of the above accidents and have not been able to obtain your rightful workers’ compensation benefits, contact our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys today. We can be reached at (770) 629-9321.