Most Common Workplace Injuries in Arizona

Arizona Injury Law Group

Common Arizona Workplace Injuries And Their Causes

The purpose of the medical and disability benefits available to Arizona workers injured at the workplace is to help the individual to recover as quickly as possible in order to return to work. Workers’ compensation legislation makes medical treatment immediately available to an injured worker by taking away the concerns over how to pay for it as previously existed. The most common workplace injuries in Arizona are falls, lifting injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and heavy equipment accidents.

One way to keep workers throughout the state healthy and on the job is to identify the causes of some of the most common workplace injuries. Through worker education, stepped up enforcement of safety regulations and a commitment to limiting hazards to which workers are exposed, many injuries and compensation claims can be decreased.

SLIPS, TRIPS, AND FALLS

Workplace Injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls in the U.S. cost the country almost $70 billion a year in workers’ compensation benefits and medical costs. Head injuries, broken bones and death can result from a fall. The following are some of the most common causes of workers slipping, tripping and falling:

  • Debris, power cords, tools, and equipment cluttering work area floors
  • Ice and snow in parking areas and walkways
  • Openings in floors and walls
  • Unsafe ladders and scaffolding
  • Improper use of safety harnesses and other fall protection gear

Employers can make workplaces safer by training workers to keep floors and walkways clean and clear of obstacles. Workers should also be provided with and required to use safety harnesses and fall protection gear when performing tasks from elevated locations.

LIFTING INJURIES

Lifting more weight than a person can safely handle is a common cause of neck, back and spine injuries in the workplace. Instead of waiting for help or for equipment to assist with the lift, workers in a hurry to complete a task might attempt to lift something and get hurt in the process. Workers should be trained to request assistance when it is necessary to lift heavy objects.

Another cause of lifting injuries is improper lifting technique. Too many workers lift with their backs instead of with their legs. This is usually due to a lack of instruction in proper lifting techniques. The solution is to require training for all employees, including office workers who could be called upon to lift boxes containing papers, files or other heavy materials.

MOTOR VEHICLE AND HEAVY EQUIPMENT ACCIDENTS

Texting while driving is a leading cause of driver inattention. Studies have shown that drivers engaged in a conversation on a cellphone, even one equipped with a hands-free device, can still miss up to 50 percent of what is going on in front of their vehicles.

Operators of heavy equipment and other motorized machinery must receive proper training to prevent them from going beyond the safety limitations of the equipment. Rollovers may occur when equipment is used improperly. For example, operating a commercial riding lawnmower on a hillside can cause it to tip and rollover if the slope is too steep. Tractors and similar equipment can topple backward if forced to climb a grade that is too steep.

REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURIES

As many as 10 million Americans have carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is the thin passageway found in the wrist that contains the transverse carpal ligament and the carpal bones. The tunnel accommodates nine tendons in total and important nerves. Carpal tunnel syndrome develops from trauma, pressure, or damage that affects the median nerve.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of many repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) that can result from the workplace. Any job that requires repetitive movements can lead to a repetitive strain injury. The overuse of muscles can also lead to an RSI. These types of injuries are particularly common at places of work that require repetitive tasks, prolonged periods of awkward postures, or forceful movements.

Besides carpal tunnel syndrome, RSIs can include:

  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Tennis elbow

RSIs can affect any part of the body, but the type of injury more often affects the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, and back. This is because these parts of the body are where nerves are more likely to have to pass through a narrow area. Industries that are more likely to see these types of injuries include office work, factory manufacturing, construction, and healthcare.

While proper training can reduce the risk of developing an RSI, it remains one of the most common types of injuries that can occur in the workplace. Fortunately, these types of injuries are frequently covered through an employer’s workers’ compensation plan.

BURNS AND ELECTRICAL INJURIES

Many workplace environments carry the risk of causing burns and electrical injuries. Coming into contact with hot objects, chemicals, or electrical currents can leave workers heading to the hospital or emergency room for treatment. Burns can require weeks or months of recovery time, and many workers are left temporarily or permanently disabled from their workplace accidents.

Prevention involves proper training in handling hot materials, chemicals, and electrical equipment. Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and safe work practices can reduce the risk that someone will become burned while at work.

Electrical injuries can cause burns. They occur when a person comes into contact with an electric current of some type. These can happen in construction sites and also at maintenance and manufacturing plants. Thorough electrical safety training and regular inspection and maintenance of electrical systems can reduce the risk of electrocution at work.

No matter the cause of a worker’s burn, if the injury happened while at work, the injured worker can work with their attorney to file a workers’ compensation plan to cover medical bills and other expenses.

PREVENTING WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS

Many workplace accidents and injuries can be prevented through training and the use of proper safety gear and equipment. If an injury happens, a workers’ compensation lawyer is the best resource for legal advice and guidance. One of the most effective ways to prevent workplace injury is by carefully training all employees.

Teaching proper lifting techniques, equipment safety, and what to do in emergencies are all important. Employers should also make sure everyone uses the appropriate personal protective equipment, such as goggles, helmets, and gloves.

Many workplaces have forgotten how important a role ergonomics plays in creating a safe workplace environment. Encouraging regular breaks can help workers avoid strain and discomfort. Hazard assessments are crucial for identifying potential risks in the workplace. Look for slippery floors, faulty machinery, or dangerous chemicals and address those issues promptly.

Communication is key, and employers should always be open to issues, suggestions, and feedback. If an injury happens, a workers’ compensation lawyer is the best resource for legal advice and guidance.

FAQs:

Q: What Is the Most Common Injury in the Workplace?

A: Slip-and-fall accidents are a top workplace injury in Arizona. They can happen to anyone in any environment. Slips can affect young people as well as hold, and the injuries from a tumble can be serious. One of the most serious injuries that can occur is a traumatic brain injury. A TBI can cause difficulty balancing, memory loss, and impaired cognitive ability.

Q: What Is the Top Leading Cause for Injury in the Workplace?

A: Although some injuries are unpreventable, many result from dangerous work conditions. Workers have a responsibility to stay vigilant and follow safety protocols. Employers have an obligation to provide a safe work environment. When workers see unsafe environments but don’t report them, that can be a cause of injury in the workplace. No matter what causes your injury at work, you have rights to benefits under your employer’s workers’ compensation plan.

Q: What Is the Most Common Workplace Safety Problem?

A: One common workplace safety problem is unsecured equipment. When tools and equipment are left out, they can cause a worker to trip over those objects. This is especially true at construction sites. Unsecured objects that are elevated can fall and cause bodily injury or traumatic brain injury. Every workplace should enforce safety procedures that require workers to return and secure all forms of equipment once they have been used.

Q: How Long Do I Have to Have an Attorney to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

A: You do not have to have a workers’ compensation lawyer to file a claim, but having an attorney comes with many benefits. Your lawyer will understand how to word the claim so there is a minimal chance that it is rejected. If your claim is denied, your lawyer can handle the appeal process on your behalf. Another benefit of having an attorney is that they can fight for a fair settlement that is commensurate with the level of injury that you sustained while on the job.

Schedule Your Workplace Injury Consultation Today

A workplace injury can happen anywhere. The type of work you do may determine which types of injury you are more likely to experience. Construction site injuries often result from falls or falling objects, while office workers are more likely to develop repetitive stress injuries. No matter what type of injury you received or the cause, your workers’ compensation lawyer will fight to protect your rights while seeking a fair settlement that covers your medical treatment.

If you have to miss work while you recover, your workers’ compensation plan should provide benefits during that time away from work. The lawyers at Arizona Injury Law Group are dedicated to helping injured workers receive the compensation they’re entitled to. Contact our workplace injury lawyer today to start the process.

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