Millions of workers in a wide range of professions are injured on the job each year. Often these involve slight sprains, cuts or bruises, but more severe injuries are a fact of life. This leads to workers to file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer, who is obligated to carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy for just such occurrences.
These services are designed to enable workers to get the medical care they need and to also receive compensation during the length of the injury to help pay living expenses for workers and their families. Workers’ compensation can also help workers returning to work after their recovery, sometimes with additional accommodation for permanent injuries or help and training for a new job. Benefits also go to dependents of persons involved in work-related fatalities.
Most common injuries
The Insurance Information Institute has published the national numbers from 2017, and the findings may surprise some:
- Overexertion: This often occurs when workers try to lift or carry too much or from pulling, pushing or throwing an object. It can also involve having muscles or joints forced beyond their typical range. This makes up 33% of all injuries on the job.
- Slip, trip or fall: This also amounts to about 33% of injuries, which range from wrenching a back to such severe cases as concussions or spinal injuries.
- Falls to a lower level: This often involves workers falling from ladders, scaffolding, stairs or a roof, but can also involve equipment collapsing.
- Bodily reaction: Involuntary reactions by a person to avoid danger can lead to an injury, often when there is not even impact. It may also involve exposure to a toxic chemical or substance.
- Struck by an object: While common in the construction industry, workers in many fields can be injured when an object, piece of equipment or machinery makes forcible contact.
Most dangerous professions
Workers in any profession can be injured, but the five most dangerous occupations here in Pennsylvania in 2016 (the most recent available data from the Department of Labor & Industry) were:
- Education & Health Services with 44,723 injuries and 5 deaths
- Trade, Transportation & Utilities with 41.323 injuries and 27 deaths
- Manufacturing with 19,824 injuries and 8 deaths
- Public administration with 11,720 injuries and 8 deaths
- Professional and business services with 11,191 injuries and 11 deaths
Attorneys can help you with the process
A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney can guide those here in Pennsylvania injured on the job. Not only with all the paperwork involved but also by protecting the legal rights of the workers and their loved ones if there is a dispute regarding the claim.