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A painter balances on scaffolding so he can paint the ceiling. A truck driver climbs into his cab to begin his route. A retail sales clerk climbs a ladder to retrieve a product from a top shelf. An office worker climbs the stairs to her third-floor office.
As these examples illustrate, people in all types of jobs are at risk of falling and injuring themselves. Unstable equipment, greasy floors, uneven surfaces, loss of balance and slick pavement are all things that can cause workers to fall while doing their jobs.
Falls are one of the most common workplace injuries, and they're also a leading-cause of work-related deaths, especially among construction workers and people in the agriculture, forestry and fishing and mining industries. People who work in retail or service jobs also face a high risk of falls and injuries from them.
According to federal workplace injury statistics, falls most commonly result in sprains, strains or tears - injuries that can be painful, long lasting and may result in time lost from work. Falls can also cause head injuries, knee injuries, fractures and broken bones.
On average, people who are hurt during a fall miss a week of work, though some fall may be out of work much as they recover from serious injuries. Several hundred thousand people every year are injured during a workplace fall every year, and falls account for several hundred workplace fatalities annually.
Nearly a third of all workplace injuries result in musculoskeletal disorders and often are the result of lifting. The U.S. Department of Labor defines a musculoskeletal disorder (or MSD) as an injury or disorder of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage or spinal discs. These types of injuries generally result in longer work absences than other on-the-job injuries.
People who suffer these types of injuries may experience back pain or other muscle pain that makes even simple movements difficult and painful.
Anyone in any job is in danger of suffering a lifting injury. But people in jobs such as nursing, transportation and manufacturing, are at a much higher risk for these types of injuries. The weight of the load lifted often doesn't cause the injury, but improper lifting techniques can. Employees may also be injured when they twist or contort their bodies in unnatural positions.
Back injuries are very common -- adults have a 50 percent chance of suffering a debilitating back injury - and they can be very painful. Pain is most common in the neck, upper back and lower back, but when you have a back injury, the pain may radiate to other limbs. Even after back surgery and other treatment, recovery may take a long time.
Truck drivers and delivery personnel aren't the only victims of on-the-job automobile accidents. Anyone who uses a vehicle for work is at risk for this type of workplace injury:
In each of these examples, the injured driver is entitled to workers' compensation benefits, because they were performing their normal job duties while driving. These benefits apply no matter who was at fault in the car accident and cover things like head injuries, broken bones and soft-tissue injuries.
Automobile accidents are the leading cause of workplace fatalities in the United States.
Many jobs, such as construction and manufacturing, require employees to use complex heavy equipment. When properly maintained and used correctly, these machines can make work easier and help workers complete tasks more quickly. But this equipment also makes these jobs very dangerous.
In fact, construction is most dangerous profession in the United States because there are literally thousands of risks perils facing construction workers every day. Construction workers suffer more on-the-job fatalities than any other profession.
If you are the victim of any type of construction injury, whether caused by accident or someone else's negligence, you are entitled to workers' compensation benefits for your injuries. Contact a Central Pennsylvania injured at work attorney or Philadelphia injured at work attorney at Anapol Schartz for a free, confidential consultation.