There are many causes and types of workplace accidents. The National Security Council found that the top three leading causes of work-related injuries include overexertion, slips and falls, and contact with objects and equipment. Other common types of occupational accidents include work-related roadway accidents and repetitive motion injuries. Workplace accidents can cause serious injuries – even death. In fact, Texas has led the nation in workplace fatalities every year since 2009. In this article, we will explore the most common workplace accidents in Texas and their cases.
Work-Related Motor Vehicle Accidents
In Texas, transportation incidents are the leading cause of workplace fatalities. People who drive on the job are exposed to negligent drivers, dangerous weather, and defective equipment, all of which can cause motor vehicle accidents. Workers who spend their days around moving vehicles also face a high risk of getting hurt by them. Texas businesses should stress safe driving policies, including banning distracted driving. In some cases, a motor vehicle accident results from the negligence of a third party which can lead to compensation that goes well beyond what workers’ compensation benefits provide.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls are some of the most common workplace or industrial accidents. Employees working in risky areas for slips and falls should be issued nonslip shoes or should be required to wear them. Aside from slips and trips, work-related falls can also occur when falling from a height due to dangerous scaffolding, faulty ladders, or lack of harness protection. Falls often cause traumatic physical injuries regardless of how they happen.
Included in this category are lifting, lowering, bending, and repetitive stress. Overexertion is caused by improper lifting and when employees fail to lift heavy objects safely due to improper form or attempting to lift objects that should be lifted with the help of additional workers. Additional overexertion risk factors include reaching, pushing and pulling, awkward posture, extended periods of sitting or standing, and extreme temperatures.
Contact with Objects and Equipment
Workers can be struck by, struck against, or become entangled with objects and equipment on the job. Being hit by an object that has fallen from above or has been thrown by a person or machinery can cause serious injury. Falling, flying, rolling, or swinging objects can cause serious trauma, with the most common injury from a falling object being a head injury. Many of these incidents are caused by workers failing to pay attention because they are distracted, which is why employers should prohibit workers from talking and texting on cell phones during business hours.
Struck-by injuries can be prevented by storing or stacking materials safely, training employees properly, and posting adequate warning signs. Employees should also be given appropriate personal protective equipment to use, such as hard hats, steel toe boots, and eye protection. Becoming caught in or entangled in a machine can cause amputation and wrongful death and is often caused by loose clothing, jewelry, long hair, and the like. Proper training can ensure these accidents are prevented and worker lives are saved.
Repetitive Motion / Repetitive Stress Injuries
Many types of repetitive stress injuries can be common among workers across a wide range of jobs. Some of the most common workplace repetitive motion problems include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome, a repetitive stress injury common among office workers. Other types of workers can develop this syndrome in their wrists as well, which can make it hard if not impossible for them to do their jobs.
- Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a repetitive motion injury that is very common among workers, resulting from tasks like painting, using tools, cutting, welding, and more.
- Inflammation is among the most common causes of repetitive motion problems, including conditions like tendonitis, stenosing tenosynovitis (“trigger finger”), and others.
More than two million American workers are victims of workplace violence every year; and in certain industries, like healthcare, violence against employees is more common. Workplace violence can occur anywhere and every organization needs to train for, be prepared for, and address it. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) categorizes workplace violence into four groups:
- Criminal intent
- Customer or client
- Worker on worker
- Personal relationships
Thousands of Texas workers are exposed to materials in the workplace that could prove dangerous to their health and safety without proper handling. Exposure to chemicals and other toxic materials in the workplace can cause injuries ranging from mild irritation to cancer and even death.
If you have been injured by chemical exposure, the personal injury attorneys of JD Silva & Associates are ready to assist you. Our experienced attorneys will help you seek fair compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and other losses. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you and your family recover.