When you think of work injuries, you probably picture something sudden and dramatic: a fall from a construction scaffold, a hand caught in a piece of machinery or a chemical burn. While all of those injuries can and do occur on the job, the leading on-the-job injuries may be very different than you might expect.
Work Injury Statistics
On average, a U.S. worker is injured on the job about once every 7 seconds. That’s more than 12,000 injuries per day, resulting in more than 100 million lost work days each year.
Top Causes of Work Injuries Resulting in Lost Work Time
Just three types of work injury account for about 84% of all lost-work-time injury events across the country. While the three injury types are very different, they have one very important thing in common: most injuries in each category could be avoided with safe workplace practices on the part of both employers and employees.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 1/3 of work injuries necessitating time off involve “overexertion.” Injuries attributed to overexertion typically occur when the worker is lifting or lowering something, or through repetitive motion.
Two types of injury are tied for second place: “contact with objects and equipment” and “slips, trips and falls” each account for about 25% of work injuries resulting in lost time. These injuries can vary significantly in terms of seriousness and duration.
For example, a contact injury could involve anything from being hit by a board carried by a co-worker to having a forklift load fall on the employee. Slips, tr, ps and falls can range from losing one’s balance and pulling a muscle to falling 20 feet onto the concrete foundation of a construction site.
Most Common Injuries Resulting in Lost Work Time
Just as three general categories account for the majority of all workplace injuries serious enough to require time off, the resulting injuries fall disproportionately into three categories as well.
Data from the nation’s largest workers’ compensation insurance carrier shows that sprains, strains and tears account for about 30% of lost-work-day workplace injuries. That’s more than any other type, and far more than more serious and longer-lasting injuries such as head injuries, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries.
However, these injuries shouldn’t be dismissed or take lightly.
The same study revealed that strains and sprains result in an average of 57 days off work. Cuts and punctures, which make up another 19% of lost-work-time injuries, result in an average of 24 days off. Contusions account for an additional 12%, bringing the total for these three injury types to 61% of workplace injuries resulting in lost work time.
Don’t Underestimate “Minor” Workplace Injuries
When you’ve suffered a sprain, tear, cut, or other relatively minor injuries at work, you may be inclined to brush it off. However, it’s important to take your injury and potential claims seriously at every stage, beginning with reporting even minor injuries promptly. The seriousness of a work injury isn’t always immediately obvious.
Similarly, you shouldn’t assume that your workers’ compensation claim will be straightforward simply because your injury is “just” a sprain, strain, puncture or another of these common workplace injuries.
Talk to a workers’ compensation attorney to learn more about your rights and the compensation you may be entitled to.
Schedule a free consultation now by filling out the contact form on this site or calling 440-946-7656.
The information presented in this post is not legal advice and does not form a lawyer/client relationship. Laws and circumstances can differ and change.
Please contact us for a personal review of your situation