Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
Employers are obligated to maintain a safe workplace for their employees, but many fail to do so, and workers are injured every year as a result. Use this list to identify workplace hazards and determine whether you may be at risk. If you have already suffered an injury in the workplace, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and other losses.
Defective or Hazardous Equipment
One of the most common causes of workplace injuries is defective or hazardous equipment. Equipment may be hazardous if it is poorly designed, manufactured, assembled, or repaired. Anything from complicated heavy machinery and power tools to ladders and scaffolds can cause a disabling or fatal injury given the right circumstances. These types of accidents are particularly common at construction and mining sites.
Many workers are exposed to toxic substances. Employees whose jobs involve working with toxic substances have a right to appropriate safeguards so they are not at an unnecessary risk for illness or injury. For example, many workers in the asbestos industry were exposed to unsafe levels of asbestos during the 20th century and are now developing mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, and other conditions as a result.
Workers whose jobs require them to perform one or more characteristic repetitive motions are at risk of injury. Carpal tunnel syndrome from typing is a well-known example of a repetitive motion injury that may impair a person’s ability to perform their job.
Motor Vehicle Mishaps
Motor vehicles are integral to many peoples’ jobs, and where there are motor vehicles, there is always a risk. These accidents may be caused by reckless drivers or by equipment malfunctions. They are often serious and occasionally deadly and if work related they are compensable.
Insufficient Safety Guidelines
All workplaces are required to establish and enforce appropriate safety guidelines in order to protect their employees. Workplaces that fail to do so are nearly always hazardous.
Many workers are injured each year because they or their co-workers do not receive the training necessary to foster a safe workplace. All employers are obligated to train their employees thoroughly in order to avoid injuries. Workers who are undertrained or asked to perform duties for which they are unqualified put themselves and others at risk.
Reckless Co-worker Conduct
Employees can injure their co-workers when they behave recklessly or under the influence in spite of thorough safety training and appropriate guidelines. In these cases, the reckless individuals can be held responsible, but so can their supervisors and those who hired them under the worker’s compensation laws.