Most workers in the US do their best to follow safety measures and avert workplace accidents. Despite the illusion that workers’ compensation fraud is a prevalent issue, the vast majority of workers would much rather continue their regular work schedule and their regular wage than to face the hurdles associated with filing a workers’ compensation claim. Even when successful and even if you don’t have to appeal and fight for your right to benefits, those benefits still do not relate to the value of earning your regular income for performing your normal work duties. Unfortunately, we cannot always avoid accidents and injuries in the workplace. Following are the ten most typical workplace injuries in South Carolina and throughout the US.
1) Injuries from Overexertion
Injuries caused by overexertion are very typical in the US workplace. They are caused by doing things that are physically demanding, such as lifting heavy items or pushing or pulling heavy, bulky, or awkward items. These injuries are usually tears, strains, or sprains of muscles and/or tendons. They are most typical in jobs that deal in construction, factory work, furniture moving, nursing, commercial driving, and other jobs that contain physical force and maneuvering heavy, bulky, or awkward items.
2) Injuries Caused by Slipping or Tripping and Falling Down
Injuries that result from slipping or tripping and falling at work are typically caused by slippery floors, crowded walkways, or unbalanced flooring. For example, if the carpet is damaged, you could trip over an area where it is lifted. If an individual has recently mopped, you might slip on the wet floor. If something has spilled, you might slip in a puddle. If there is a great deal of clutter, of any sort, in the walkways of your work area, then this creates a trip risk.
3) Injuries From Lower Level Falls
A fall to a lower level, or a lower level fall, occurs when you are in a multi-level building or at a height, such as on scaffolding or at the top of a ladder. Plunging from a height or from one level of a building or construction to another can create severe and disabling injuries. Such a fall can even be fatal. Though there are many other occupations that require workers to engage in their job duties at heights that are far from ground level, the workers that are most at risk for such injuries are in the construction and maintenance industries.
4) Injuries Caused by Bodily Reactions
Though many people are quite unaware of this, injuries caused by bodily reactions are also very typical,. They occur when your body naturally reacts, often in an effort to avoid an injury, but in doing so, results in an injury. As an example, if you slip on something, but manage to avert falling by somehow miraculously keeping your balance, but straining an area of your body in the process, this is a bodily reaction injury. Another example could be moving hurriedly to avert getting hit by a falling object, but, again, straining your body in the process.
5) Injuries From Object Impact
An injury from an object impact is one that results when some kind of object falls on you, slams into you, or in some other way impacts your body. This can happen when a box falls from a high shelf or when someone working above you drops a tool. It could also happen if someone was using a tool near you, that slipped out of their hand and happened to impact your body. For example, imagine a construction worker with a hammer that suddenly slips from their hand and hits you, working nearby. Another example would be a box falling from a stack of boxes in a warehouse. In the case of someone who moves furniture, it could be as simple as dropping one end of a couch on your foot, resulting in an injury.
6) Injuries Caused by Impacting an Object
This sounds similar to an injury from an object impact, but in this instance, you impact the object. An example would be if you are unintentionally pushed into a wall or a shelf while working. This could also happen if you trip over something and your body slams into a shelf, counter, wall, or other object.
7) Injuries From Work Related Auto Accidents
Injuries from work related traffic accidents are typical in industries that require employees to drive. Unless you are also paid for this time, which is unlikely, you are usually not covered for auto accidents that happen during your drive to or from work. However, if your job requires that you drive to complete errands, to deliver items or furniture, or for any other work related purpose, you can file a workers’ compensation claim for a work related auto accident.
8) Injuries Caused by Accidents Involving Machinery
Anyone who works with heavy machinery and equipment is at risk of accidental injuries involving this machinery or equipment. Often, these injuries are quite severe and can involve getting a limb trapped in the machinery. In such an accident, the limb (typically hand, arm, foot, or leg) could be crushed, mutilated, or even completely severed.
9) Injuries From Repetitive Motion or Stress
An injury from repetitive motion or stress is caused by any activity that requires you to frequently move the same muscles and tendons in such a manner that the stress compiles and causes a repetitive motion injury. A very typical example of this is carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs when the hands and wrists are repeatedly moved in the same way in the course of work related duties. Typical causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are job duties like typing or using a hand operated machine. However, repetitive motion or stress injuries can affect almost any part of the body, with spinal injuries also being quite common.
10) Injuries Caused by Violence in the Workplace
Injuries that are caused by violence in the workplace can occur in any occupation, and are the one entry on this list that is usually not accidental. While the actual injury that occurs may not have been calculated, the violent act itself is. For example, someone at work may be angry with you, may lose their temper, and may shove you. Perhaps they did not intend for you to fall down or hit the wall, for example; but they did mean to shove you. Unfortunately, one of the leading causes of death in the workplace is violence.
Do You Need a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in South Carolina?
You are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, if you have been injured at work or in the process of completing work related duties. However, every case is different, and the difficulty that you encounter in seeking your benefits will vary by industry and by injury. Speaking to a determined South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney is the best thing that you can do to secure that your rights are protected and that you get the benefits that you are entitled to. At KMD Lawyers, we have the knowledge and experience to guide and represent you in the process of seeking workers’ compensation for your work related injury.