Preventing Catastrophic Injuries in the Workplace

man on stretcher after a workplace injury

Although serious injuries can happen anywhere, some workplace environments are more dangerous than others, resulting in a higher risk of catastrophic injuries. These types of injuries have long-term effects and can leave the victim with a permanent disability. If you’re wondering how to prevent workplace injuries, our catastrophic injury lawyers share tips for avoiding workplace accidents and staying safe.

When is an injury considered a catastrophic injury?

Injuries are categorized as catastrophic when they significantly and permanently impact a person’s life. Catastrophic injuries leave victims with lifelong disabilities that can change everything from their mobility to brain function. It is considered catastrophic if the person is not expected to fully recover from the injury and is left with deficits for the remainder of their life.

What are common work industries with the most injuries?

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the most dangerous industries for illness and injury in the workplace include:

  • Construction
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
  • Education and health services
  • Transportation and warehousing
  • Government
  • Manufacturing

However, the NSC does point out that education and health services jumped in the ranks of injured workers due to COVID-19. The reported nonfatal injuries and illnesses related to the pandemic caused workers to be away from their jobs more so than in previous years. As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction remains at the top of the list for fatal work injuries.

While these industries report the most workplace injury cases, many are at the forefront of workplace injuries prevention. Injured employees can also claim disability benefits through workers’ compensation after workplace incidents.

What are the common types of catastrophic injuries that happen in the workplace?

Depending on the industry and the employee’s position, many workers risk suffering a catastrophic injury while working. Some examples of common work-related injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Severe burns
  • Amputation of a body part, including limbs
  • Multiple bone fractures
  • Organ damage and internal bleeding
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of sight or hearing
  • Paralysis

If you suffered a catastrophic injury while working, contact our workers’ compensation attorneys to see if you qualify for benefits and learn how we can help you get the maximum amount for your claim. You and your family are entitled to compensation for your losses, even if you are partially at fault for the accident that led to your injuries.

What are the common causes of catastrophic injuries that happen in the workplace?

Several types of work accidents can result in catastrophic injury. The common causes of serious workplace injuries include:

  • Slip and falls – Falling into or onto an object, structure collapses, falling to a lower level, falling from ladders, roofs, or scaffolding
  • Exposure to harmful substances – Electricity, radiation, extreme noise or temperatures, infectious diseases, changes in air or water pressure
  • Overexertion and bodily reaction – Stress related to repetitive motion and unreasonable lifting, pushing, carrying, and other physical labor
  • Contact with objects and equipment – Objects or equipment striking and bumping into a worker, or causing injuries from crushing, pinching, friction
  • Transportation incidents – Car, van, truck accidents, and other motor vehicle accidents
  • Fire and explosions – Caused by improper handling or disposal of compressed gas, a leak, or malfunction

What are tips to prevent catastrophic injuries in the workplace?

warehouse worker tripping over object on ground causing a workplace injury

While nothing can fully prevent serious accidents in the workplace, there are things you can do to lower your risk of suffering a catastrophic injury. If you work in a particularly hazardous industry and want to protect yourself and your colleagues from a potential accident that can have devastating consequences, here are some tips that can help:

  • Create a safety committee. A designated safety committee can help you stay on top of safety guidelines, best practices, and trends for your industry.
  • Follow the guidelines in your employer’s accident prevention and wellness program. Your employer provides safety guidelines for a reason. Following the rules and educating yourself on possible risks can help you and others stay safe while working.
  • Always wear any required safety equipment. Wear your protective equipment — no matter what. Hard hats, goggles, gloves, earplugs, face protection, and other safety gear should always be used without exceptions.
  • Keep an orderly workplace environment. Ensure your workplace is clean, organized, and free from debris and unnecessary materials. This will help you avoid slip-and-fall accidents and other injury-causing incidents.
  • Complete pre-placement testing and physical exams. Some employers require physical testing or other placement checks to ensure you can perform your duties safely.
  • Never take shortcuts. You should never skip steps and try to rush through a job, even if you think you know the process inside and out.
  • Conduct regular equipment inspections. If you operate equipment or drive a vehicle for your job, conduct all safety inspections regularly to ensure everything is working optimally.

Injured workers often deal with the cost of medical care, lost wages, pain, and suffering without realizing they qualify for workers’ comp through their employer’s insurance company. Filing a workers’ compensation claim for a catastrophic injury that occurred in the workplace can mean financial support, Social Security disability benefits, and more. Contact our team to schedule a free consultation to see what your claim may be worth.

Attorneys for Catastrophic Injuries in the Workplace

catastrophic injury attorney shaking hands with a client at a desk

Suffering a catastrophic injury at work can have irreversible effects on your ability to work, provide for your family, and enjoy the same lifestyle you did prior to the accident. However, there are options to seek legal compensation if your catastrophic injury occurred due to your employer’s negligence.

At the Bachus & Schanker law firm, we have a team of highly skilled litigators who specialize in catastrophic injury cases. We can help you get the compensation you need and deserve, so you can start to rebuild your life after a workplace accident. Contact us now to schedule your free case evaluation.

Sources:

National Safety Council (NSC). Most Dangerous Industries.
National Safety Council (NSC). Top Work-related Injury Causes.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Number and rate of fatal work injuries, by industry sector.

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