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Most Common Workers Compensation Claims

Mark A. Simon June 8, 2016

Business Insurance analyzed workers compensation claims and found that 72 percent of worker injury claims result from five basic causes. For employers, knowing how to prevent these claims can save them a lot of hassle and money. Your Denver workers compensation attorney can advise you further.

  • Overexertion costs businesses $12.75 billion (yes, billion) in direct annual expenses and is the number one workplace injury. Over a quarter of workers compensation claims fall into this category. Prevention is simple: If your staff has been working extra hard or extra long hours, let them rest.

  • Falls are the number two cause of disabling injury, costing businesses $7.94 billion. Do your best to eliminate obstacles and slippery surfaces where people walk. You may also want to let your female employees know that they won’t be discredited for not wearing sky-high stiletto heels and platform shoes.

  • Injuries from bending, climbing, reaching, standing, sitting, and tripping without falling incurred $5.289 billion in expenses. Don’t ask your clumsiest employee to climb a ladder or assign your heaviest employee to the broken office chair.

  • Blunt force trauma. While fun to say, being struck by a solid object hurts and causes $4.64 billion in expenses. If you catch your employees horsing around and throwing a stapler like it’s a ball, stop such antics immediately. You may also want to reconsider furniture with sharp, pointed edges and corners.

Other common injuries that round out a list of common workers compensation claims include highway incidents, machinery accidents, repetitive motion (carpal tunnel, anyone?), and workplace violence.

Workplace violence doesn’t have to mean that a disgruntled former employee “went postal.” The term includes injuries sustained from robberies and other criminal activity. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports that nearly 2 million American workers report being victims of workplace violence each year. Of 4,679 workplace fatalities reported in 2014, 403 resulted from workplace violence. Higher risk workers are those who “exchange money with the public, delivery drivers, healthcare professionals, public service workers, customer service agents, law enforcement personnel, and those who work alone or in small groups.”

The census of fatal workplace injuries in 2014 was 4,821, the highest total since 2008. For fatal workplace injuries, the most dangerous occupations were private construction industry (899 fatal injuries in 2014) and private mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industries (183 fatal injuries in 2014). Other notable updates show that fatal work injuries among Hispanic or Latino workers decreased to 804 and increased for Black or African-American workers (475). Senior workers aged 55 and over saw the greatest increase in workplace injuries (1,691) and roadway accidents increased to 1,157, a five percent increase.

The news isn’t all bad. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in November 2015 that severe injury and illness rates were down, although injuries from falls on the same level increased for a second year in a row.

Workplace injuries can lead to more than just days off work; they can lead to lost wages, inadequate medical care, harassment, or even job loss. Denver workers compensation attorney Mark A. Simon can assist you in obtaining appropriate medical care and making sure your employer cannot avoid their responsibility to you. Call today to schedule a consultation.