Workplace accidents happen on a daily basis in the United States in any type of work environment. However, there are many lines of work in which injury risk is higher, such as the construction industry, factories, companies with heavy machinery, and the transportation sector, among others. The department of Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2012, more than 4,300 employees died as a result of work accidents. Fortunately, the vast majority of work accidents are not fatal and the employee recovers.
Most Common Causes of Work Accidents and Injuries
- Slips and falls – these accidents tend to happen on any type of job but most often in cleaning companies or construction zones.
- Musculoskeletal injuries – these injuries result from overexertion on the job and most commonly involve the back, neck, and shoulders. Employees who lift or carry heavy equipment are most susceptible to this type of injury.
- Carpal tunnel (part of the family of musculoskeletal injuries) – this is caused due to repetitive motion of the hands while writing or using the computer constantly in an office, or from using harvesters or jack hammers for construction workers.
- Compression or crushing of the body or extremities – this is seen more frequently in construction areas. It usually occurs when an employee operating a machine or crane fails to see a co-worker while lifting beams or even pre-fabricated walls, and crushes the other person.
- Amputations – these tend to happen in factories where workers are in close and direct contact with machinery and a worker becomes careless, or the machinery malfunctions, resulting in fingers or extremities being amputated.
- Hearing loss – this occurs in places where employees are exposed to high noise levels. Gradually, they begin to suffer hearing loss and feel a constant ringing in their eras that can even prevent them from sleeping at night.
- Automobile accidents – obviously these are very common in jobs where employees drive, whether to deliver goods or transport personnel, and spend the majority of their time on the highway.
- Asthma and/or allergies – these can happen to workers in laboratories or places where certain chemical products are created or used daily.
Employers’ Responsibilities Regarding Work Conditions
The Occupational Safety and Health Act passed in 1970 requires employers to offer a safe and healthy work environment to all employees and to periodically evaluate risks and hazards. Additionally, they must provide sufficient training to employees for the use of heavy machinery and equipment, facilitate and enforce the use of protective equipment, and periodically give maintenance to machinery, among other things. Despite these legal efforts to protect workers, labor accidents continue to occur. If you have been the victim of a workplace accident, you should consult with lawyer specializing in cases like these as soon as possible.
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