For the vast majority of Americans the thought of being injured on the job isn’t a concern or even a thought. However, the number of injuries/fatalities at the workplace has reached an all-time high in recent years and many are left wondering why?
According to the United States Department of Labor (USDOL), 2015 was a record year with a total of 4,836 fatal work injuries. This number is slightly up from prior years and many safety experts are fearful that the numbers will continue to climb. Below is a list of alarming statistics published by the USDOL:
- 2015 marked the highest number of workplace injuries since 2008 (5,214).
- Hispanic or Latino employees incurred 903 fatal injuries – a record number since 2007 (937).
- Employees who are 65 years and older incurred 650 fatal injuries which is the 2nd largest number in history for this population.
- Work-related car accidents were up 9% from 2014 total—which accounts for over a quarter of all occupational injuries in 2015.
- Tractor-trailer accidents and commercial truck drivers recorded 745 fatal injuries – the most injuries from any occupation.
How to Avoid Injuries on the Job
The numbers are rising and in the early stages of the New Year, what can be done to avoid these alarming statistics from repeating? First and foremost, every employee needs to be conscience of their surroundings and their daily tasks. Many employees don’t give workplace safety a second thought or the business doesn’t provide information/education centered on workplace safety. Take for example the list of common workplace injuries the Houston Chronicle published. You may be surprised to find that you have endured this at your place of work.
- Fatigue: Mental and physical exhaustion can impair movement, reflexes and judgment. Lack of sleep can make individuals more susceptible to accidents especially around machinery or if they are driving a vehicle.
- Stress: Stress is a part of life. Whether it is the stress of finances, home life or deadlines, stress is an everyday occurrence for employees. When an employee is distracted by stress, they are more likely to suffer an injury because of the distraction. Stress also takes a toll on the body as well. The number of strokes, heart attacks and hypertension increase when an individual feels an abundant amount of stress.
- Slip and Falls: Caution When Wet! There is a reason for the sign believe it or not! Be cautious! Whether you are in an office setting or warehouse, it’s important to wear a sturdy and supportive shoe so that you don’t find yourself the victim of a slip and fall or suffer a painful injury such as a broken hip.
- Hazardous Materials: Always wear protective clothing, eye wear and gloves when dealing with hazardous materials. Accidents can happen in settings with hazardous materials and chemicals, which can leave your severely burned or left with a respiratory disease.
- Lifting: Many employees, even those who don’t work in a warehouse or manufacturing plant, are susceptible to injuries from lifting. Those individuals who work in an office type setting are at risk as well – think about how many times you have to lift a box of copy paper. Back and neck injuries can become a life-long injury if not properly treated.
These are just some examples of what injuries employees can suffer on the job. As routine as our jobs can be, it is important to know the potential hazards surrounding you. If you have been injured on the job and unsure on what steps to take regarding worker’s compensation, please contact us immediately. Additionally, if you feel your place of business was negligent in any hazardous working conditions, please don’t hesitate to speak with our attorneys at Kaine Law.