There are some professions that people recognize as being inherently risky, and there are many others that people assume are generally safe. Workers in California who drive for a living or work in the construction industry, for example, are likely aware that they assume a higher degree of personal risk for injury or possibly death on the job simply by showing up at work.
Workers in a variety of other professions and work environments might assume that they have little to worry about during their shifts. Those working in retail and other service-based professions often assume that their jobs are low risk in part because they don’t receive much pay and workers in hazardous industries tend to be compensated more decently. Professionals in office settings also tend to be dismissive of the risks of injury on the job. However, even those in seemingly safe work environments could still end up seriously injured on the job due to one of the three common risks below.
Repetitive stress injuries
A cashier constantly bagging and swiping merchandise all day could very easily develop a repetitive stress injury, just like an office worker who spends eight hours a day or more typing at a computer. Carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries are an unignorable concern for those who work in seemingly safe professions like retail sales or administrative work.
The last few years have seen an increase in reports of workplace violence. Sometimes, it may be a customer or visitor who becomes aggressive. Other times, confrontations occur between coworkers that lead to someone getting seriously hurt. These risks are a constant threat to individual safety and could result in not just medical expenses but significant lost wages for the people involved in the incident.
Slips, trips and falls
Even if a worker only ever walks to the water cooler or the kitchen to grab a coffee, they might eventually fall while on the job and could end up seriously hurt as a result. Same-level falls may not be quite as dangerous on an individual basis as falls from significant elevations, but people still end up getting hurt. Broken bones and even brain injuries are possible when someone falls.
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to people in all professions, not just those known for having greater levels of worker injury risk. Recognizing that there are hazards in every work environment and that those in any profession can qualify for workers’ compensation may help those who eventually get hurt on the job to avoid economic impacts that can effectively be avoided.