Compared to 100 years ago, industrial accidents are rare today, but they can still cause a great deal of suffering when they do occur. Every year, thousands of workers die while on the job and many more are hurt in workplace incidents. In many cases, these injuries are due to negligence of an employer or fellow workers and can be prevented. Workers who are harmed while doing their job may be eligible to receive compensation for their suffering with the help of a successful personal injury attorney. A successful suit can be helpful in covering the expenses incurred due to the injury for medical bills, loss of wages, and property repair. What are the most common industrial accidents?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for enforcing workplace safety regulations and tracking workplace injuries. Every year, OSHA finds that the most frequent incidents involve workers falling from a great height. On worksites where employees are expected to work around heights, the employer must provide equipment to prevent a fall. This is something that many employers fail to do, leaving their workers at risk. The injuries received during a fall typically involve severe physical trauma. After a fall or being struck by an object, brain injuries or broken bones are common, and both can require lengthy recovery time. In many cases, the worker may not ever recover completely, possibly forcing them into early retirement or another career.
OSHA keeps track of every fatality and catastrophic incident in workplaces around the country. In 2013, most fatalities were either due to falls or to being crushed or hit by equipment. Electrocution and burns are also common, as is exposure to harmful chemicals or vapors.
Even when industrial accidents do not result in a fatality, victims of the incident may have to deal with grievous injuries that can cause debilitating pain, disfigurement, or permanent health complications.
Workers that suffer from multiple broken bones will require many weeks to recover and may be completely unable to work if the break is near a major joint or to a vital limb. Fractures close to the pelvis will render a worker immobile until it heals, and fractures to the spine may cause permanent loss of function. Fractured vertebrae near the base of the spine can cause paraplegia or paralysis of the lower extremities. Breaks near the top of the spine can cause full body paralysis. Both will greatly reduce a victim’s quality of life and may make it impossible for a victim to provide for their family. Unfortunately, paraplegia and quadriplegia have poor prognoses, with only limited recovery possible for both injury types. Fractures to limbs, ribs and other parts of the body will still be painful and may result in permanent loss of motion if the bone doesn’t heal properly. In the interim, a victim will have to undergo expensive physical therapy and medical treatments while remaining out of work. Some catastrophic injuries may require lifetime care and treatment.
Any worker who has been harmed while on the job should consider consulting with a personal injury lawyer. Employers will often try to avoid liability for any injuries caused by unsafe working conditions, which may leave a victim without the ability to pay for treatment. With an experienced personal injury lawyer on the victim’s side, the injured party will have the representation they need to be heard in court.