The Top 10 Most Common Types of Workplace Accidents

injured worker

Workplace accidents are unfortunately common and affect millions of workers in the United States each year. The number of preventable workplace fatalities increased by 5% in 2022. The preventable injury death rate is 3.2 per 100,000 workers, which increased from 3.1 in 2021. Injured workers often deal with costly medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. If you were injured on the job, it’s essential to consult with a workplace accident lawyer who can help you file a workers’ compensation claim to recover benefits for your medical treatment and lost wages.


Common Types of Workplace Accidents

1. Exposure to Harmful Substances or Environments

Workers in certain industries face the risk of exposure to harmful substances or environments. The injury rate is 31.9 per 10,000 full-time workers.

This can include exposure to harmful substances and environments, including:

  • Electricity
  • Radiation
  • Asbestos
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Oxygen deficiency
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Contagious and infectious diseases

The immediate effects of exposure to hazardous chemicals can include burns, poisoning, and acute respiratory distress. Prolonged exposure can lead to chronic health issues such as respiratory diseases, skin disorders, and even cancer. To minimize these risks, employers must provide adequate training and personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensure that safety protocols are strictly followed.

2. Slips, Trips, and Falls

Shot of a Warehouse Worker Has Work Related Accident. He is Falling Down Before Trying to Pick Up Heavy Cardboard Box from the Shelf.

Slips, trips, and falls are among the most common workplace accidents. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), over 8 million hospital emergency visits are the result of fall-related accidents. The injury rate for falls, slips, and trips is 22.6 per 10,000 full-time workers. The industries most at risk include transportation, warehousing, and agriculture. Slip and fall accidents can result from wet floors, loose carpeting, uneven surfaces, or cluttered walkways. Fractures are a serious injury that occurs in 5% of people who fall.

3. Struck by Moving Object

Workers can be struck by moving objects in various settings, particularly in construction, manufacturing, and warehousing. These could include vehicles, boxes, machinery, tools, or debris. Injuries from such accidents can be severe, ranging from bruises and broken bones to head injuries and fatalities.

Getting struck by objects can cause serious injuries, such as crushed bones or traumatic brain injuries. Safety measures that can prevent these kinds of accidents include protective barriers, wearing high-visibility clothing, adhering to safe operating procedures, and ensuring machinery is well-maintained and operated only by trained personnel.

4. Hitting a Stationary Object

Hitting stationary objects is another common workplace accident, often resulting from inattentiveness or poor visibility. Workers might walk into doors, walls, furniture, or equipment, which can lead to injuries such as cuts, bruises, and concussions. Ensuring clear pathways, marking hazards, and improving lighting can help prevent these incidents.

5. Falls from Heights

Falls from heights are a leading cause of serious injuries and fatalities in the workplace, particularly in the construction industry. These falls can occur from ladders, scaffolds, roofs, or other elevated surfaces. 

Injuries can be severe, including fractures, spinal injuries, and head trauma. To prevent these accidents, it’s crucial to use proper fall protection equipment, conduct regular safety training, ensure secure anchorage points, and maintain equipment in good condition.

6. Overexertion

Overexertion injuries are commonly caused by excessive physical effort, such as lifting, pulling, pushing, or carrying heavy objects. The injury rate is 26.2 per 10,000 full-time workers. Overexertion injuries often result in sprains, strains, and chronic musculoskeletal disorders. The industries most at risk include transportation and warehousing. Proper ergonomic practices, regular breaks, employee training on safe lifting techniques, and the use of mechanical aids can help reduce the incidence of overexertion injuries.

7. Motor Vehicle Accidents

semi-truck accident

Over 6 million car accidents occur in the US each year. Motor vehicle accidents are a significant risk for workers who drive as part of their job, such as delivery drivers and truck drivers. Car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to severe trauma and fatalities. Employers should enforce safe driving policies, provide defensive driving training, ensure vehicles are well-maintained, and monitor driving hours to prevent fatigue-related accidents.

9. Falling Objects

Falling objects pose a significant risk in workplaces, particularly in construction and warehousing environments. Items that are improperly secured or stored at height can fall and strike workers below, causing injuries that range from minor cuts to severe head injuries or fatalities. To mitigate these risks, employers must use appropriate storage solutions, secure all materials and tools, and ensure that workers wear hard hats in areas where falling objects are a risk.

9. Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) occur from performing the same motion repeatedly over time, leading to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and bursitis. These injuries are common in occupations involving computer work, assembly line tasks, and manual labor. 

Prevention strategies include ergonomic workplace design, regular breaks, stretching exercises, and training on proper technique. Early intervention and treatment are also critical in managing RSIs and preventing long-term damage.


Common Types of Workplace Injuries

injured worker consulting with workplace accident lawyer

Common workplace injuries include:

  • Sprains and Strains: Often caused by overexertion or improper lifting techniques
  • Fractures: Can result from falls, impacts, or heavy equipment accidents
  • Cuts and Lacerations: Frequently occur in manufacturing and construction due to sharp tools or machinery
  • Burns: These can be chemical, thermal, or electrical burns
  • Bruises and Contusions: Commonly result from slips, trips, and falls or being struck by objects
  • Head Injuries: Ranging from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries, often caused by falls or being struck by objects
  • Back Injuries: Often due to improper lifting, falls, or repetitive strain
  • Hearing Loss: Common in industries with high noise levels, such as construction and manufacturing
  • Respiratory Issues: Caused by exposure to harmful substances like asbestos, silica, or chemical fumes
  • Eye Injuries: From exposure to harmful chemicals, flying debris, or inadequate protective eyewear


What to Do After Sustaining a Workplace Injury

After sustaining a workplace injury, it is crucial to take immediate and appropriate steps to ensure your health and protect your rights.

  1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
    • Even if the injury seems minor, get a medical evaluation and obtain your medical records.
  2. Report the Injury to Your Supervisor or Employer
    • Notify your employer as soon as possible. There are specific timelines for reporting work-related injuries.
  3. Document the Incident
    • Record details about how the injury occurred, including the date, time, and location.
    • Note any witnesses and their contact information.
  4. Keep Copies of All Medical Records
    • Maintain detailed records of all medical treatments, diagnoses, and any related expenses.
  5. Follow Your Prescribed Treatment Plan
    • Follow your prescribed treatment plan and document your injuries throughout your recovery.
  6. Consult with a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
    • Seek legal advice to understand your rights and ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to under California workers’ compensation law.


Damages Available in Workers’ Compensation Claims

Workers’ compensation claims can provide several types of damages to injured employees. These can include:

  • Medical expenses related to the injury, such as hospital bills, medication, and rehabilitation services
  • Temporary disability benefits
  • Permanent disability benefits
  • Lost wages
  • Vocational rehabilitation benefits

In cases of permanent disability, workers may receive additional compensation based on the injuries suffered and the severity of the impairment. Many injured workers wonder if they can get pain and suffering with workers’ compensation. However, unlike a personal injury claim, workers’ compensation claims are more limited and do not include pain and suffering damages.


How a Workplace Accident Lawyer Can Help with Your Workers Compensation Claim

workers compensation lawyer

A lawyer specializing in workers’ compensation can help you understand your rights and navigate the complex legal requirements of the workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation attorneys will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to recover fair compensation.

Additionally, a California personal injury attorney will ensure that all necessary documentation is completed accurately and submitted on time, reducing the risk of claim denial. If your claim is disputed or denied, a trial lawyer can represent you in hearings or appeals and present evidence to support your case.


Contact Our Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you sustained a workplace injury, contacting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can be a crucial step in protecting your rights and securing the benefits you deserve. At Golden State Accident Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping personal injury victims recover full and fair compensation.

Our team of workers’ compensation attorneys has a proven track record of successfully representing injured workers. We maintain a 99% success rate and have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation.

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