Workplace Injuries: A Serious and Under-Reported Problem in the United States
Workplace accidents are bound to happen no matter how attentive and careful employees are. If you’ve been at hurt at work, you may be entitled to compensation regardless of fault, and workers’ compensation benefits for your workplace injuries may include payment of medical bills, payment for lost time and time off of work, and additional compensation if you have permanent restrictions as a result of your injuries.
Remember that if you’re ever hurt on the job in Maryland, it’s important to contact the attorneys at Pinder Plotkin right away and discuss your case with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Our legal team has litigated hundreds of workers’ compensation and personal injury cases, and we frequently receive referrals from other firms who know our reputation and trust our experience and dedication.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3.8 million American workers suffer job-related injuries or illnesses each year, and many workplace safety experts believe that the actual figure could be much higher — perhaps 11 million or more — due to under-reporting.
Many of these injuries stem from a few common workplace hazards. Knowing about these on-the-job dangers may help you avoid injury and keep yourself safe. For that reason, we’ve compiled some information about six of the most common causes of on-the-job injury and provided a few tips about each that can help reduce you and your co-workers’ risk.
Although we at the Pinder Plotkin legal team always want to help employees avoid injuries whenever possible, it’s important to understand that you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, regardless of whether you or your employer was at fault for the incident. No matter how your on-the-job injury occurred, you should notify your employer of the injury and speak with a member of our legal team about your workers’ compensation case as soon as possible.
Common Causes of Injuries on the Job
Some of the most common causes of workplace injuries include:
The problem: Picking up an object that is too heavy to lift comfortably can lead to muscle sprains, strains, and tears.
The solution: Use slow, smooth movements when you lift. Bend your knees and get as close to the load as possible. And ask for help if a load feels too heavy to lift by yourself.
2. Slips, trips, and falls
The problem: Common factors that can lead to a slip-and-fall accident include slick floors, high-traffic corridors, inclement weather, and rushing through the workplace.
The solution: Always make sure to wear proper footwear, including shoes or boots with anti-slip properties if necessary. Take it slow when moving through the workplace, and be especially careful to watch out for hazards in dimly-lit areas.
3. Falling objects
The problem: Falling or flying objects can cause minor injuries like cuts and abrasions as well as more serious consequences like head injuries, concussions, and even blindness.
The solution: Always wear a hard hat when work is being performed overhead or when job site conditions call for it. Avoid working under moving loads whenever possible. Secure all tools and carefully stack all materials to prevent them from sliding, falling, or collapsing.
4. Hazardous materials
The problem: Industrial chemicals are often capable of causing burns, rashes, blindness, and explosions. These effects may be obvious right away or may appear slowly over time.
The solution: Never work without protective clothing, including eyewear and gloves, when handling hazardous materials such as harmful chemicals and toxic waste.
The problem: Not getting enough rest or working without breaks can lead to distraction, delayed reactions, and overexertion injuries. Chronic fatigue can also cause obesity, heart problems, high blood pressure, and other health issues.
The solution: Be sure to take all rest and meal breaks that your employer provides as required by law. Maintaining a balanced diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and sticking to a consistent schedule for sleeping and meals can all improve the quality of your sleep and help fight fatigue.
6. Workplace violence
The problem: Every year, about 550 people die from workplace violence in the United States. These incidents occur across a variety of industries and continue to pose a danger to workers everywhere.
The solution: Report any incidents of abuse, harassment, threats, or physical violence in the workplace to your supervisor.
If any of these workplace hazards has already caused an injury for you or a loved one, it’s important to notify your employer and then get in touch with the Pinder Plotkin legal team right away. Failing to act quickly could take away your right to file a workers’ compensation claim and potentially receive monetary benefits.
The Pinder Plotkin Legal Team: Advocating for Maryland Workers
If you’ve suffered an injury due to a workplace accident, please contact the legal team at Pinder Plotkin as soon as possible. Our attorneys can walk you through every step of the workers’ compensation claim process in Maryland, and our contingent fee policy ensures that you only pay fees and expenses if and when we achieve a recovery on your behalf.
Please call us today at (410) 661-9440 or fill out the form on our contact page to receive a free consultation during which we can assess the details of your case and advise you about your best course of action going forward.
The content provided in this website/blog is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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AFL-CIO. (2013). Death on the job: The toll of neglect. Washington, D.C.: AFL-CIO. Retrieved from http://www.aflcio.org/content/download/79181/1933131/file/DOTJ2013.pdf
Avoiding falling objects. (2009, April 1). Safety + Health. Retrieved from http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/avoiding-falling-objects-2
Hamlett, C. (2016). Top 10 causes of workplace injuries. The Houston Chronicle. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/top-10-causes-workplace-injuries-11298.html