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September 2022

Top 10 Most Common Workers Compensation Claims

By Workers Compensation

According to OSHA, 160 million individuals experience work-related injuries annually. In order to decrease this extremely high number, a bigger emphasis on the importance of workplace safety and training is critical. Employers and employees should be aware of the top hazards and injuries that occur on the job. This way, proper safety measures can be taken to reduce the chance of injuries from arising.

Below is a closer look at the top 10 most common work-related injuries and workers’ compensation claims. This study was conducted by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Important to Note: The data used in the study was published in 2020 and is based on 151,959 work-related injury payments made between 2011 – 2018. 

  1. Strains | Total claims: 45,675

 Ranking in at number one is strains. Although this seems like a minor injury that can heal on its own, strains can have lasting repercussions. Strains inhibit worker’s ability to perform their job to their fullest potential and cause agonizing pain on muscles. Individuals who work in an industry where manual labor is required such as warehouse workers, construction, nursing, etc… have most likely experienced problem with muscle strains at one point or another. Employers can reduce strains from work by: 

  • Teaching proper techniques for lifting heavy objects
  • Provide employers with frequent breaks / time to rest
  • Emphasize the importance of stretching 
  • Enforce that employees should not pick up items beyond a weight limit they feel comfortable carrying

2. Contusions | Total claims: 31,651

Contusion is another word for bruising. Bruises can be very minor, disappearing on their owning just a few weeks. On the other hand, contusions or bruises can be very serious and result in blunt force injuries to the head, which can cause brain bleeding. This is very dangerous and can alter the course of one’s quality of living. In this case, a workers’ compensation case should most definitely be filed. Employers can reduce work-related contusions by:

  • Provide workers with hard hats / other personal protective gear
  • Ensure work space is clear and there are safe walkways 

3. Lacerations | Total Claims: 17,919

A laceration is a cut or skin wound, typically caused by a sharp object. This is a very common injury in the workplace, as hands and fingers are used in pretty much every task we do. Oftentimes, employees slip up and make the mistake of cutting themselves when they are not fully focused and paying attention to what they are doing. Other reasons for these injuries may be that the employee was not properly trained on how to operate power tools or other sharp objects. Employers can help reduce lacerations by:

  • Poviding proper hand protection (gloves)
  • Clean work environments
  • Training workers on use of sharp objects and power tools

4. Sprains | Total Claims: 13,449

Sprains are a common injury that often result from slips, trips, and falls. They also commonly result just from being on your feet for an extended period of time. For instance, nurses who walk around over the course of a 12 + hour shift are more likely to suffer from ankle sprains than someone who works a desk job. However, in any case, sprains can happen anywhere at any job. Sprains can negatively impact mobility, making it much more difficult for employees to return to their usual job tasks. In addition, ankle sprains may require physical therapy to heal and longer recovery periods. Depending on the severity of the strain, sometimes workers can bounce back quickly. But, usually it takes several weeks or months to regain full strength and functionality. Employers can reduce sprains by:

  • Providing employees with longer and more frequent breaks
  • Encouraging workers to stretch and rest

5. Punctures | Total Claims: 8,363

Punctures are deep injuries that involve a sharp object. In the construction industry, punctures are a common injury due to the fact that workers use power tools, nail guns, saws, and more on a consistent basis. If workers are not trained properly on how to use these tools, it is very easy for an extremely dangerous accident to occur. Punctures can cut deep into the skin, and result in some very severe injuries. Always use caution and pay close attention when operating with sharp tools. Employers can reduce punctures by:

  • Train all employees on how to properly operate power tools
  • Monitor and watch employees 
  • Provide Personal Protective Equipment 

6. Burns and Electrocutions | Total Claims: 4,661

Burn incidents in the workplace typically occur to individuals who work in restaurant kitchens. They are also common occurrences for individuals who work with hot furnaces, chemicals, steam, and electrical sources. Burns can range from very minor to extremely dangerous – it depends how hot the temperature the individual was working with and how long their flesh was exposed to the surface. Electrocutions are very dangerous as well and can even result in death. Employers can reduce burns / electrocutions by:

  • Proper training employees
  • Monitoring employees
  • Provide personal protective equipment
  • Make sure equipment is inspected regularly by a professional and cleared as safe to operate with 

7. Foreign Object Entering Body | Total Claims: 4,266

In construction, these injuries can be very painful and gruesome. Unfortunately, workers in this industry have suffered from impalement of objects entering the body such as nails, sharp debris, steel, and more. Employers can reduce impalement by:

  • Ensuring the work site is clean, and particles or miscellaneous items are swept up and removed from working zones
  • Provide safety gloves, proper footwear, and other personal protective equipment
  • Put up signs to warn workers of unsafe areas

8. Broken Bones | Total Claims: 2,182

Slips, trips, and falls are common causes of workers suffering from a broken bone. Although it is difficult to predict and nearly impossible to stop one from a slip, trip, or fall, there are precautions that can be taken to lessen the chance of an incident occurring. Employers can reduce broken bone injuries by:

  • Putting a “wet floor” sign up on slippery surfaces
  • Tuck cords and cables away from being in hallways or aisles
  • Encourage keeping a clean work station – such as closing file cabinet drawers and picking up loose items from the ground
  • Provide employees with proper footwear
  • Make sure workplace has proper lighting 

9. Crushing Hazards | Total Claims: 1,406

In large manufacturing operations, working with heavy objects is required of workers. These machines can be dangerous, especially if a worker is new and doesn’t know what they are doing. As a result, workers can suffer from being stuck and get crushed by heavy objects or machinery.

Employers can reduce crushing hazards by:

  • Informing workers of OSHA’s standards for machine guarding and proper protocols. Visit the link here to learn more.  
  • Regular training and monitoring of employees (especially newer employees) working with machines 

10. Concussions | Total Claims: 882

Concussions result from being struck by force to the head. They can also occur from falling from a great height. The effects from a concussion can completely change one’s life –  causing memory loss, headaches, noise sensitivity, insomnia, and more. 

Concussions range from fairly to mild to very severe. With more severe concussions, individuals can face very serious health consequences such as chronic encephalopathy, which is a degenerative neurological condition very commonly seen among veteran NFL players. This develops when one experiences repetitive injuries or blows to the head. Employers can reduce concussions by:

  • Providing hard hards and other personal protective equipment
  • Providing fall protection gear
  • Ensuring work site is clear and no heavy object can strike workers passing through

If you have been injured at work, do not hesitate to get the workers’ compensation you are entitled to and deserve. Our experienced attorneys at Losi and Gangi will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case. Call us today at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation. 

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