Whether you work at a construction site or in an office, you may be at risk of injury while on the job. Some occupations have higher injury rates than others, as shown in our blog: The Most Dangerous Jobs in Pennsylvania, but what types of injuries are most common? Today we are going to take a look at the three most common work-related injuries, what causes them, and what you can do if you’ve been injured at work.
The Most Common On-the-Job Injuries in America
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which operates under the United States Department of Labor, tracks occupational injuries and illnesses across the country. On the BLS website, you can view detailed statistics and reports related to workplace injuries, their causes, whether they resulted in days away from work, and much more. This provides clear insight into the most common types of work injuries.
According to the most recent statistics available, there were 888,220 non-fatal work-related injuries and illnesses that caused at least 1 day of missed work in the U.S. in 2019.
The top three most common work-related injuries were:
- Sprains, strains, and tears, accounting for 295,180 injuries.
- Fractures, accounting for 85,710 reported injuries.
- Bruises and contusions, accounting for 80,640 reported injuries.
Sprains, Strains & Tears: The Most Common Work-Related Injuries
Sprains, strains, and tears can affect any worker. They are more common in workers who perform physical tasks, particularly those that are challenging, that require the same motion to be performed over and over, and those that are performed in awkward positions or angles.
At first thought, a strain or sprain may not seem a serious work injury. Depending on the extent of harm, however, a worker may require emergency treatment, surgery, and physical therapy. They may miss days from work or may be unable to return to the same occupation. Strains, sprains, and tears can even make a worker more prone to injury in the future.
According to the BLS, the back is the most common site of sprains, strains, and tears. In 2019, about 31 percent of all reported injuries in this category affected the injured worker’s back. Back injuries can cause debilitating pain, limited motion, and difficulty lifting heavy objects or performing other hard labor. Workers who have suffered such injuries may require physical therapy and ongoing care to ensure their safety and well-being.
What Causes These Work Injuries?
The leading causes of work-related injuries are:
- Overexertion and bodily reaction, including non-impact injuries caused by heavy lifting, pushing, holding, or carrying objects, as well as repetitive motion.
- Slips, trips, and falls, including falls from heights as well as falls at the same level or even jumping from one level to another.
- Contact with objects or equipment, which includes incidents where workers are struck by or caught in equipment or machinery.
When you take a closer look at these causes, it is easy to see how they are related to the top three work injuries in the U.S. The first, overexertion and bodily reaction, applies directly to many muscle and soft tissue sprains, strains, and tears. Slipping and falling can also cause these injuries, as well as fractures, bruises, and contusions. Incidents involving workers being struck by or caught in equipment can cause all three of the most common work injuries.
What You Can Do If You’re Injured
If you’ve been injured on the job, you need to report the incident to your employer, seek medical attention, and talk to an attorney. Reporting the incident is important because it is directly linked to your ability to recover workers’ compensation benefits, which should cover your medical treatment and a portion of your lost wages while you’re unable to work. Failing to report may render you ineligible for workers’ comp. Seeking medical attention is crucial for your immediate and long-term health, as you should receive the proper treatment for your injury. See a doctor even if you feel you aren’t seriously injured. Talking to an attorney is the best way to protect your right to compensation.
Ask a Pennsylvania Work Injury Lawyer
Too often, workers who have been injured run into problems trying to get the right treatment and the full compensation they deserve. Employers and their workers’ compensation insurance companies may delay payment, deny valid claims, or take other underhanded (and sometimes illegal) measures to try to avoid paying injured workers what is rightfully theirs. Our attorneys won’t let this stand.
For nearly 100 years, we at Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC have represented the interests of injured workers across Pennsylvania. We have fought to help our clients recover the level of financial compensation that has allowed them to rebuild and move on after serious work accidents. We have helped them get the treatment they needed after accidents that left them with debilitating injuries and illnesses. We have worked to make it easier for future generations to avoid injury in the first place by exposing and penalizing the type of conduct that puts workers at risk.
Contact our Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys today at (888) 498-3023 to see how we can help you. Your consultation is free!