The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control revealed that 18% of all 1,176,340 nonfatal work injuries involved slips, trips, and falls, leading to days away from work in 2020. During the same year, more than 196,000 severe injuries caused by contact with objects and equipment also resulted in time off the job.
Challenges workers face
In the face of those staggering numbers, workers’ compensation claims remain one of the most challenging in securing benefits, whether the employee was injured by an accident or outright negligence.
The most common injuries in the workplace include:
- Brain injuries: Most common on construction sites and areas known to be hazardous and often caused by slips or being struck by a hard or sharp object to the head.
- Spinal cord injuries: The most simple work task can carry catastrophic consequences. Injuring the spine, even when suffering minor damage, can result in long-term recovery and significant time away from work.
- Asbestos exposure: In spite of all the remediation efforts, asbestos remains a clear and present danger to workers. Cases have decreased, yet risks remain. Common professions include auto mechanics, carpenters, firefighters, attic insulators, and others exposed to the deadly fibers.
- Smoke inhalation/burn injuries: While most associated with firefighters, it is also common within industrial areas, including manufacturing and chemical plants. Burn injuries and the possibility of infections are complicated and extremely expensive.
- Traffic accidents: Considered to be the most common of workers’ compensation claims, company car and commercial truck drivers can suffer injuries in an accident or walking to and from the vehicle.
Livelihoods are at stake following a work-related accident. Those injured while on the job face an uphill climb to secure the workers’ compensation benefits that they are entitled to.