Workplace accidents are any uncontrolled or unplanned events that can potentially cause physical harm to workers on the job. Although some workplace accidents are preventable, they still occur, leading to injuries and, in some cases, fatalities.
Some occupations and workplaces pose greater risks to employees than others. According to the National Safety Council, the industries with the highest number of work-related injuries include the transport, manufacturing and construction industries. Here is a look at some of the most common causes of workplace injuries.
Slips and falls
Slips and falls account for nearly a third of all workplace injuries. These types of accidents have many causes, such as slippery floors, obstacles, poor lighting in passageways and damaged floor surfaces. Slips and falls accidents typically result in traumatic injuries.
Depending on the nature of the workplace and job description, workers can encounter a variety of hazards in their line of work. Some of these hazards may include dangerous chemicals, fire and electrical hazards, falling objects, and bad weather. Employers should at least put in place measures to mitigates the risks of unsafe work environments, for instance, by supplying workers with safety gear and equipment.
Manual labor involves pulling, pushing or lifting heavy items and operating heavy machinery. This type of work puts a continuous strain on the workers, which can lead to prolonged illnesses and injuries such as back problems, heart conditions and respiratory issues. Manual work can also cause more immediate injuries such as broken bones and pulled tendons.
Employees can claim workers’ compensation if they suffer work-related injuries. Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance provided by the employer to benefit victims of workplace accidents and injuries. They may collect monetary compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation and recovery.
California has a no-fault workers’ compensation program, meaning that the injured worker does not have to prove that the employer is at fault for the circumstance leading to the injuries or accident. However, injured workers can still seek legal action should they feel insufficiently compensated or if their employers deny a legitimate claim.