A workplace accident can occur at any time and can be caused by any number of things. It’s important to be vigilant about safety protocols to best protect yourself and co-workers from being injured at work.
According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2020, there were 193 fatal work injuries in Georgia, which was a decrease from the previous year. Fatal workplace injuries in our state have ranged from 249 in 1994 to 101 in 2012. Nationwide, there were also fewer fatal occupational injuries in 2020 at 4,764, representing the lowest annual number of fatalities since 2013.
Most workplace injuries are not fatal, and many are more common than you might think. Here’s a look at the most common occurrences of occupational accidents in Georgia.
This is probably the most common workplace injury seen in Georgia. It can cause a myriad of symptoms from mild to severe and affect different parts of the body, including the knees, shoulders and back. Lifting can cause chronic pain or serious conditions like torn muscles or disc injuries.
Lifting something too quickly or an object that is too heavy can lead to injury. In order to prevent this common workplace injury, be mindful of what you are lifting. Know how much it weighs and prepare to balance yourself as well as the item before you lift.
2. Trips, Slips and Falls
Falling down the stairs, slipping on a spill, or tripping over a piece of equipment all fall into this category of common workplace injuries. Even if you slip or trip and catch yourself before you land on the ground, you can still hurt yourself and be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. It is important that you can prove you were not being negligent when the slip or fall took place, so be sure to look around you and not down at a phone or other distraction while moving about a warehouse or factory workplace.
Simply being tired can lead to plenty of workplace injuries. If you are experiencing fatigue, your reaction time is not as fast as usual. Fatigue can be the underlying cause of another type of common workplace injury such as an accident with equipment or something more serious like a transportation accident. This is especially common for construction workers who may experience fatigue caused by hot weather or dehydration.
4. Contact with Objects or Equipment
Getting struck by an object, being caught in or compressed by objects or equipment are examples of this type of workplace injury. Factory workers, machinists, electricians and construction workers are more at risk for these occupational accidents simply because their jobs require them to use heavy objects and powerful machinery.
5. Violence by Person or Animal
This type of workplace injury can be fatal depending on the severity of the offense. In fact, in 2017 in Georgia, it was the second leading cause of workplace fatalities. This category of occupational accident includes intentional injuries by persons, suicides, and injuries caused by animals (generally cattle or horses in the agricultural industry). There are certain instances of workplace violence that are not covered by worker’s compensation claims, so it is important to understand your rights if you have been affected by a traumatic event at work.
Regardless of the cause of your workplace injury, it is important to remember that you must tell a supervisor immediately if you injure yourself at work. Many workplace injuries cannot be seen, so if you don’t report it when it happens, back medical expenses and lost wages may not be covered by worker’s compensation. If you have suffered a common workplace injury and are unsure of what to do next, contact us for a free consultation. Our caring team at The Edmonson Law Firm is on your side.