Most Common Employee Injuries and How to Prevent Them

"Caution Wet Floor"There are certain occupations that automatically bring up visions of accidents and injuries by simply thinking of them. These jobs are often industry specific, and they can range from roofing to highrise building construction. It’s important to know, however, that an individual can be injured in absolutely any type of workplace. This fact becomes quite apparent after considering some of the most common workplace accidents and injuries.

Automobile Accident Injuries

While everyone knows the inherent dangers of traveling on America’s highways, those who drive for a living face this danger on a daily basis.  Sadly, accidents on the open road can lead to broken bones, whiplash, traumatic brain damage and even death. On top of this, personal injury laws usually mean that the driver and their employer will wind up in court in one way or the other.

Avoiding these accidents is imperative. The most important advice anyone can take is to pay attention to what they’re doing. Recent data shows that nearly 20 percent of all auto accidents are caused by distracted driving. By simply putting the phone down and paying attention, employees on the road can minimize their chances of being injured.

Lacerations and Cuts

Cuts and lacerations are a common injury in industries where employees use sharp objects. Luckily, most of these injuries are minor, but on occasion, not wearing protective gear can lead to serious accidents involving these dangerous objects. Whether working with meat slicers, butcher knives or even perforating cutting tools, wearing the appropriate safety gear can prevent otherwise infrequent accidents.

Slips and Falls

Slip and fall accidents are one of the most active areas of personal injury law in the legal system. Oftentimes, when these accidents occur in the workplace, they are covered under workers’ compensation insurance; but certain employees, such as seamen in the shipping industry, actually retain their right to bring personal injury suits against their employers.

In addition, when reckless negligence leads to a workplace accident in any industry, most employees have the right to sue. Between the injury and the possible settlement, both the employer and employee are going to be hurt in this scenario. This is why it’s important to immediately mark and cleanup liquid spills, correct any landscaping problems that present a tripping risk and also ensure that slip-resistant shoes are being worn in slip prone industries (ie. food service).

Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains can occur easily when a person overexerts themselves. Overexertion is actually the leading cause of workplace related injuries. This means that there should always be proper techniques in place to minimize these risks. Workers who must move large or heavy objects, for instance, should always have help. It’s also important to not try to lift a heavy object that is over one’s head; a person should get on eye level with it, especially if on a ladder, before attempting to lift the object.

Struck by an Object

The Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety compiled some of the most common workplace injuries and accidents, and being struck by objects landed in the top five. This usually occurs when an object falls and strikes a person. This can lead to head, neck and other bodily injuries. Luckily, there are a few ways to minimize these risks as well.

Many industries have an inherent risk of objects falling on people. In these industries, proper safety gear (ie. hardhats) and warning signs should be utilized. A premises liability attorney, such the North Carolina law offices of Powers McCartan, can offer valuable advice about safety issues. It’s important for workers to receive proper safety training to learn how to avoid accidents, such as not walking under ladders, keeping a clean work site and, in certain industries, properly securing loads before they’re moved.

The simple truth is that anyone involved in any industry can be injured on the job. These injuries can lead to high medical bills, increased insurance rates, personal injury lawsuits and lost productivity. Only responding to these incidents in reactionary terms is a huge problem in every industry that can make the occurrence of the aforementioned consequences more likely. When proper safety measures are adhered to however, plenty of heartaches can be prevented for both the worker and the employer.

A former news writer, Ann Bailey encourages small business owners to be aware of these top employee injury areas. The law offices of Powers McCartan are experienced in all types of employee injury cases, and have valuable information for any small business in North Carolina wanting to avoid potential employee safety hazards.

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When Office Conditions Are Hazardous: Who Protects the Boss?

Lawsuits and liabilities definitely aren’t the first things that a person considers when they dream of owning their own business and being their own boss. Unfortunately, it’s a reality that they must face. Whether from an employee or customer, small business owners often face liability when injuries occur in their place of business. There are times, however, when simply being in an office building can be dangerous, even for the boss. It’s important for all who own businesses to recognize these risks and respond accordingly.

Broken windowsDangers that Business Owners Face

The only negligent parties people usually think about in office building environments are employers and workers, but the owner of the property can also cause injuries through their negligence. It is the duty of those who own and manage the property to ensure a safe environment for those who occupy offices in their building, and when they don’t, everyone, including the resident shop keeper, can suffer consequences.

  • Fire Hazards Fire hazards can be especially disastrous. If a business property is set up in any way that blocks exits, prevents early detection or creates a fire hazard, the landlord can be liable for any injuries caused by the incident.
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that can cause illness or worse in human beings. This gas can come from furnaces, gas powered engines and even refrigerators. The effects of this gas are deadly, and this applies to anyone, employee and management alike, who works in the building.
  • Undisclosed Dangers Any hazard in an office building that a property manager should have knowledge of is their direct responsibility to fix. A landlord who should’ve known that mold was growing in the duct system, for instance, could be held liable for illness related injuries that were caused due to the negligent act of not fixing the issue.

Preventing Injuries

Being proactive is the most promising way of avoiding injuries. Even though property locations are required to be safe, it never hurts for a tenant business to be vigilant in ensuring the safety of themselves and their workers. They should start by ensuring there are no fire hazards in the office.

-Check that all fire detectors are functioning properly

Ensure that any windows that are supposed to open actually do

-Make sure that no exits are blocked or sealed

-Report any electrical problem to building management immediately

There are also ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning or death. The easiest is to invest in a CO detector. Also, if everyone in an office starts experiencing flu-like symptoms, a carbon monoxide leak may be the culprit. It’s important to report this or any other strange occurrence or danger that exists in an office to the premises manager.

Responding to Hazards

Whether you listen to a Santa Barbara or a Syracuse personal injury lawyer, you will hear that the critically important thing to do is report any possible hazards as soon as you notice them. Unfortunately, sometimes these hazards don’t become apparent until an injury actually takes place. In these cases it’s important to find an attorney who can help with the issue since medical and office bills can quickly add up.

Business bosses have the same rights as anyone else; when they’re injured due to another’s negligence, in this case the landlord’s, they’re likely to lose considerable money and have the right to compensation. It’s sometimes difficult to prove, however, that the property owner should’ve known about the danger. This is why it’s so imperative to have an injury attorney go over the situation and figure out exactly how the claim should be handled.

Accidents can happen anywhere, and unfortunately, even when shop keepers follow all safety guidelines, injuries can occur. Many of these injuries can affect workers, clients and even the owner themselves. It’s important for them to know their rights in these situations, particularly when the injury was caused by a malfunction in office space they are leasing. Being proactive and responding accordingly are a small business boss’s best methods of protection.

A prior TV news host, Ann Bailey shares these sympathetic tips for business owners who suffer from landlord negligence. The Syracuse personal injury lawyer firm, Bottar Leone PLLC, fights strenuously for compensation and maximum support for their clients injured in office buildings or other work locations in the upstate New York area.

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