Depending on the nature of their work, employees can face many hazards in the workplace, and workplace injuries are alarmingly common. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the private sector reported 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries in 2018. Most of these injuries involved slips and falls, vehicle accidents, machine accidents, and being struck by objects or materials.
Compensable Workplace Injuries
There are no specific types of workers’ compensation injuries that a worker must suffer from to be eligible for benefits. In most cases, as long as an employee suffers a work-related injury of any type, he or she is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
The amount and duration of these benefits, on the other hand, is determined based on the severity of the injuries in question and how long the worker will be out of work while recovering. Georgia Statute § 34-9-260 outlines how and when employees may receive these benefits. The following are common injuries that workers may face.
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Cuts and Lacerations
Deep cuts can happen to anyone in a number of industries and in many settings, including the medical, retail, and manufacturing industries. They can occur on factory floors, in foundries, and machine shops as well.
Food production businesses and restaurants also report a high number of cut and laceration injuries every year. A lack of safety gear, rushed work, and a lack of worker training can contribute to workplace injuries involving tears, cuts, and puncture wounds.
Poor ergonomics, the improper use of tools, and pushing or lifting weights that are beyond a worker’s ability to move can cause overexertion. Overexertion can lead to sprains, strains, ligament damage, and torn muscles.
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Chemical and Thermal Burns
Heat, caustic chemicals, fuels, and other dangerous products can lead to chemical or thermal burns. These injuries are common in the manufacturing industry. They often occur in workers who deal hands-on with dangerous chemicals or via the inhalation of smoke or toxic fumes or other irritants. Burn injuries can also occur in restaurants when dealing with hot dishes and equipment.
Broken or Fractured Bones
Direct trauma to any part of the body can lead to broken or fractured bones. Workers involved in manual labor and construction are at high risk for such injuries. They can also occur due to slip and fall accidents—which can happen in any industry—as well as vehicle accidents. Both collisions and falls are also leading causes of workplace deaths in the United States.
Spine and Traumatic Brain Injuries
These typically occur in slip and fall and vehicle accidents as well, due to the level of force these accidents involve. In particular, slip and falls can occur because of:
- Wet surfaces.
- Loose or damaged flooring.
- Poor lighting.
- A lack of safety equipment, such as handrails in stairwells.
- Poor maintenance.
- Inadequate signage.
- Poor worker supervision—especially involving construction work and scaffolding.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
These are injuries that can occur when a worker performs the same or similar physical motions again and again. Carpal tunnel syndrome is common in office workers who do a lot of typing, as well as with cashiers who operate cash registers for hours on end. These injuries can develop slowly over several years and may be difficult to prove, but reporting your injury on time and detailing how and when your symptoms first developed can support your case.
Dismemberment and Paralysis
Machines can lead to many different types of injury, including the loss of limb or loss of movement in a limb. Amputations, puncture wounds, lacerations, nerve damage, and electrocution can all cause dismemberment or paralysis in machine-related accidents. A lack of proper guarding, poor worker training, and defective equipment can cause these incidents.
Of all the accidents employees can suffer in the workplace, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calls falls, being struck by an object, getting caught in or in-between objects, and electrocutions the “fatal four” of workplace injuries and death.
Call Today for Legal Assistance
Contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers to learn more about the different types of workers’ compensation injuries and to receive a free case evaluation. We may be able to offer help regarding workplace injuries you have suffered, including defending your right to benefits if you received a denial. Reach out today by calling (404) 888-8888.