Analysis of public policy white papers reveals that workplace injuries cost the U.S. economy about $250 billion in medical expenses, lost earnings, and lost productivity each year. The same research indicates that the vast majority of workmen’s compensation benefits disbursed each year are related to just seven types of “compensable” injuries, which is can be classified under premises liability. “on the job” injuries are also classified under premises liability, which is a Compensable injuries are those where workers are so badly hurt that they need to take time off to recover, or go on permanent leave. Compensable injuries are important to study because they are currently the biggest factor driving employer-paid insurance premiums today.
These seven types of workplace injuries that can be broken down as follows:
Crushing, Pinching, and Compression Injuries
Many workplace injuries occur when the human body interacts with machinery bringing hands, feet, fingers, or other body parts or clothing into contact with rotating or moving parts of machinery where they are squeezed, pinched, cut, crushed or punctured. Such accidents occur when workers are caught in, under, or between equipment and materials that are moving or moved about the work environment.
Injuries caused by the impact of moving or flying objects are among the most common of on-the-job injuries. Workers injured in collisions with forklift trucks are one example of struck-by accidents.
Falls From Elevation
Falls from ladders, rooftops, loading docks, scaffolding or other elevated surfaces are another area of concern for personnel managers. Those industries experiencing the highest number of fall-related injuries are associated with farming, fishing, forestry, and construction.
Falls From Same Level
Workplace injuries caused by falls from the same level include those slips, trips and stumbles that occur when a worker falls while standing on a flat surface. A loss of friction caused by spilled liquid is one cause of this type of accident. Poor lighting and bad housekeeping are other factors that cause same-level falls.
Upper Body Musculoskeletal Stress
Sustained upper body stress and overexertion can injure the back, neck, and arms causing serious bodily injury. Repetitive motion involving lifting, or working in an awkward position can do the same. Persistent vibration can also contribute to severe upper body musculoskeletal stress.
Lower Body Musculoskeletal Stress
Job-related musculoskeletal injuries affect the lower extremities including the legs, knees, feet and ankles. Kneeling down on hard surfaces for extended periods of time is a major factor in the development of lower body injuries in the workplace.
Injuries From Motor Vehicle Accidents
In consideration of the vast number of miles that employer-owned motor vehicles travel on the highways every year, it should come as no surprise that motor vehicle accidents would appear on any list of common work related injuries. On-the-job Motor vehicle accidents can occur on the road, parking lots and on the warehouse floor. There are roughly 23,000 on-the-job injuries reported every day in the United States. As a result of these injuries employers pay out almost $1 billion in direct workers’ compensation claims every week. In view of the economic impact of these injuries, it’s not an exaggeration to suggest that worker health and safety issues should become a top priority for employers regardless of the prevailing economic climate.
One common sense solution for ameliorating risk exposure brought about by the above seven occupational hazards is for employers to appoint a workplace safety officer and give that person the authority to coordinate action and enforce policies, practices and operating procedures that make injuries less likely to occur in the first place.
If you believe you are a victim of premises liability, contact us today.