When you think of workplace injuries and how they occur, your mind may conjure catastrophic accidents such as heavy equipment collisions, transportation crashes, falls from great heights, or electrocutions. However, it is a common misconception that these are the only types of workplace injuries; you don’t have to be in a dangerous profession to become susceptible to an accident on the job that can become injurious or even fatal.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides us data on workplace injuries state by state in their Occupational Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities report. In these documents, you will learn that it’s not just laborers, repairmen, or electricians who are injured on the job. For example, in the state of Illinois, you will find that there are reportable incidents in apparel stores, educational facilities, and grocery stores, proving that workplace injuries can occur in any profession.
Let’s explore some surprising injuries that you can get working in any career, their repercussions, and how to handle accidents in the workplace.
Common Workplace Injuries & The Repercussions That Follow
As established by the Occupational Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatality report, workplace injuries and even death can happen to anyone on any career path. Let’s dive into some injuries that you may not have thought about and explore how they can affect you.
1. Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries occur when you are repeating a task on the job in such a way that it causes lasting damage or chronic pain, such as carpal tunnel. Anyone is susceptible to a repetitive motion injury, whether you are repeatedly lifting and hauling material in the same manner and causing back strain, sitting at a desk and experiencing neck pain, or working with your hands and experiencing carpal tunnel.
Injuries like this don’t go away overnight; you may need continual treatment like physical therapy or chiropractic treatment for the rest of your life.
2. Slip And Fall Injuries
Slip and fall injuries are more than falling off a roof or ladder; these accidents can happen anywhere. For example, a Target employee can slip down an aisle on spilled laundry detergent, or an administrative assistant can trip and fall over a toppled cup of pens.
Injuries from a slip, trip, or fall can range from bruising and sprains to broken bones and internal injury. If you slip and fall at any time, seek medical attention immediately.
3. Hit By Objects Injuries
You don’t necessarily need to be hit by heavy construction equipment to suffer an injury from a flying or falling object. The BLS estimates over 25% of incidents occur due to contact with objects or equipment.
Examples of this injury are vast, including a nurse coming in contact with a needle, a tool falling on a repair worker’s head, or a box falling on a grocery clerk while stocking shelves.
4. Overexertion Injuries
The BLS data tells us that nearly 300,000 workplace injuries per year begin with overexertion or bodily reaction. Much like repetitive motion injuries, overexertion is a reaction that signals a part of the body that it’s becoming overly fatigued.
Overexertion injuries can include loading trucks, stocking shelves with heavy items, moving patients in a hospital, and more, and can happen in virtually any industry. Employees and corporations alike must learn proper lifting processes, invest in tools and furniture with ergonomic design, and take proper breaks on the job.
5. Exposure To Harmful Substances Injuries
While your first thought may be of toxic fume exposure, there is so much more to harmful substance injuries. These injuries can vary from exposure to cleaning chemicals to a lack of oxygen in a workspace, and can even have lasting effects such as partial deafness from noise pollution. The effects of these injuries can be serious, such as cancer, lung disease, blindness, or stroke.
How To Handle Injuries In The Workplace
If you or someone you know has recently been involved in an accident in the workplace, there are steps you can take to properly handle the incident and seek the medical care, justice, and compensation you deserve.
When you are injured on the job, you have the right to workers’ compensation that can help alleviate your medical debt as well as any bodily harm or disability that resulted from the accident. A personal injury lawyer can help you organize your documents, understand your rights under the law, and win you monetary compensation after your injury.
No matter how dangerous or mundane your job may be, no one is immune from these accidents that can occur in any workplace. If you or someone in your life has suffered an injury while on the job, a personal injury attorney can help manage your workers’ comp claim.