What workplace accidents happen each year?
The answer may surprise you
Will you get hurt on the job?
Hopefully not, but you know it could happen, and so do the insurance companies that must pay your workers’ compensation claim if it does.
Of course, they also appreciate how much these cases cost. In 2016, it came to $62 billion, more than $1 billion (not million) a week, according to the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index.
While no one can predict what type of on-the-job injury any specific person will suffer, the green-shaded insurance actuaries have calculated the probabilities. They even know how much each type of trauma cost last year.
Workplace accidents broken down by frequency
Are you curious? Can you guess the most common on-the-job mishap?
Liberty Mutual calls it “Overexertion Involving Outside Source”, and it costs the insurance industry about $15 billion per year. These traumas involve “lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing objects.”
Here are the rest of the top 10 causes of workers’ compensation injuries:
“Falls on the same level” cost about $10.2 billion. That’s simply a fancy way of saying an object such as a banana peel makes workers trip and fall.
“Falls to a lower level” cost about $5.4 billion. That’s self-explanatory.
“Struck by object or equipment” injuries set the industry back about $5.3 billion.
“Other exertions or bodily reactions” cost about $4.15 billion. These occur when clumsy workers trip and fall. No foreign object causes these mishaps.
“Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles” reduced insurers’ profits by about $3 billion last year.
“Slip or trip without a fall” injuries cost about $2.3 billion. That simply means workers hurt themselves even though they don’t fall. There are, then, three types of trip and slip injuries – those that happen when an object causes someone to collapse, those involving falling when nothing got in the way, and injuries occurring even when no one goes down, such as twisting an ankle.
“Caught in/compressed by equipment or objects.” These are especially gruesome mishaps that set the insurance industry back about $2 billion per year.
The final two are “struck against object or equipment” and “repetitive motions involving micro-tasks.” Each cost about $1.85 billion. Typing on a computer all day, for example, can cause repetitive motion injuries.
The insurance industry compiles this detailed information about workplace traumas, because they want to lower their costs by helping you stay safe. For obvious reasons, you probably want to do the same.
How to lower the chance of getting hurt in a workplace accident
Here are some ideas:
• Avoid most trip and slip injuries, which account for three out of the top ten causes of workplace mishaps, by simply paying attention to your surroundings.
• Protect your back by learning about and using proper posture.
• Preserve the rest of your body by discovering how properly to work with your equipment, employing correct safety devices, and using mechanical assists.
• Ensure that you can easily pass through the safety exits.
• Stay sober. Of course, that should go without saying.
• Report unsafe conditions to your supervisor.
What should you do if you sustain a workplace accident despite your best efforts to avoid it?
Contact your supervisor or organization’s human resources department as soon as you get hurt, and follow to the letter their instructions for filing your workers’ compensation claim. In many cases, the business will treat you fairly and conscientiously help you get back on the job as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, many companies do not treat their injured employees well. In that case, consider consulting a lawyer, so you can get the care you need and deserve.
Don’t talk to just any attorney, though. Like doctors, they specialize, and you want to hire a person who concentrates on workers’ compensation law. McCready Law have helped thousands of injured workers in Chicago for over 25 years. Please feel free to contact us at 773-779-9885 to discuss your work injury, and of course, all our consultations are free!