Unless you work in an obviously dangerous occupation such as construction, industrial or as a first responder you probably don’t consider the likelihood of getting hurt on the job. In reality, though, work injuries can result from countless scenarios.
Individuals typically will automatically equate workers’ compensation with a single devastating accident. In fact, single accident injuries are only one category of workers’ compensation claims. Claims can generally be grouped into three categories.
- Single accident injuries: Most people equate workers’ compensation with a single accident. Tripping over debris on the floor, for example, falling down the stairs while carrying a box of product or being struck in the head by a falling object are all examples of a single accident that can cause a serious injury.
- Repetitive stress injuries: Many jobs are predicated on performing the same action over and over again. Whether it is moving a box from position A to position B or lifting a plastic piece out of an injection mold, these repeated actions can put strain on the joints and muscles. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common diagnosis and is related to fine motor coordination in activities such as typing. While these injuries might be slow to develop, they can be life-altering.
- Toxic exposure: Many occupations require strong chemicals or hazardous materials to be woven into the very fabric of the job. Various solutions used for cleaning, processing or maintenance can produce vapors or be absorbed through the skin. Fibrous minerals such as asbestos might have been used in the creation of steam pipes or other fire-resistant materials in the workplace. Toxic exposure can lead to lung disease, mesothelioma, asbestosis or other deadly conditions.
Too many workers, no matter the reason for the accident or injury, simply shrug it off. They choose to not report the incident or resulting injury but, rather, select to convince themselves they are not injured – I’ll be fine after some rest. It is crucial to report the incident through the proper channels at your workplace and discuss your situation with an experienced attorney.