Common Causes of Workplace Accidents

Want to understand workplace accidents? We at Dressie will walk with you through it all.

Explore the common causes of workplace accidents with Dressie Law Firm. Gain valuable insights to prevent injuries and understand your legal options in case of an accident.

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Understanding the Causes of Workplace Accidents and Your Legal Rights

Workers face many dangers, including slips, trips, falls, falling objects, and violence. Contact with equipment, overexertion, and bodily reactions can also result in workplace injuries. Other common causes of workplace injury include noise exposure and accidental needlestick injuries.

Trips, slips, and falls account for 20% to 40% of disabling work-related injuries. Most injuries are mechanical and often require orthopedic surgery to treat. These workplace injuries can also be fatal. Road crashes involving cars are the leading cause of work-related fatalities. 

If you have been injured in the workplace, you have the right to compensation. Dressie Law Firm has experience in handling workplace accident claims. Our attorneys can provide the legal counsel required in any workplace injury case.

    Common Causes of Workplace Accidents

    The leading cause of workplace injuries is the negligence of one or more parties. For instance, wet floors can cause slip-and-fall accidents. An uneven ground, stairs that are not the same level, and loosely lying cables can also be a trip hazard. Below are the common causes of workplace accidents:

    Slips and Falls

    Slips and falls are the most common occupational injuries and can occur in any workplace. According to the CDC, 18% of the 1.2 million nonfatal workplace injuries in 2020 were related to slips and falls. A slippery floor with no warning sign is all it takes to cause a slip and fall.

    Improper footwear, poor lighting, and slippery surfaces can all result in terrible falls. Fall injuries can also occur when you fall from a height. This is the common cause of death in the construction industry. Window cleaners, painters, photographers, and electricians are also at risk. 

    Employers are required to place visible warning signs for slippery floors. They must also provide fall protection for employees working from heights. Workplace safety harnesses, nets, and guardrails can complement personal protective equipment to prevent severe workplace injury.

    Machinery and Equipment Failures

    Heavy equipment defects are often a result of poor maintenance by the employer. Machinery failure can also happen when employees lack proper training. Injuries can also result from heavy, moving objects that can trap, crush, or hit employees.

    Equipment failures and defects can cause fatal accidents, permanent disability, or severe injuries. Common injuries include broken bones and crushed limbs, leading to amputations. You can also suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage, and disabilities.

    Employers should provide adequate training to their workers. Machinery should include practical tips and safety instructions, including what to do when work equipment is not operating properly. Regular inspections are also needed to keep machines in good working condition.

    Lifting

    Lifting heavy objects can result in muscle sprains, strains, and tears. These are common workplace injuries in the construction, logistics, and transportation industries. Employees in these industries are likely to make repetitive motions and movements that can cause ergonomic injuries.

    Jobs that require strenuous effort increase the risk of getting injured. Employees may also suffer fatigue and stress, leading to mistakes and workplace accidents. As such, workers should be given enough breaks between to prevent fatigue.

    Employers should provide safety procedures on how to perform heavy lifting. Task assignment teams must also schedule tasks sparingly to prevent overexertion. Such measures can reduce the risk of chronic pain, joint issues, stress, and debilitating injuries. 

    Hazardous Materials

    Hazardous materials range from flammable petrochemicals to pathogens. Workers in the trucking, manufacturing, construction, and health industries are at risk of injuries related to hazardous materials.

    OSHA requires every business to provide adequate personal protective equipment to their employees. Workers should use their face masks, helmets, gloves, boots, jackets, and goggles to avoid exposure to hazardous materials. Employers must also provide material safety data sheets. 

    Preventative measures, such as warning signs and personal protective equipment, are essential in preventing severe injury. Moreover, workers should be made aware of the risks and hazards they may face.

    Motor Vehicle Accidents

    Accidents involving motor vehicles are the leading causes of work-related deaths. According to the CDC, 22% of fatal work-related crashes in 2020 involved motor vehicles. Such accidents occur when an employee is involved in a car accident while on a work assignment. 

    Accidents can happen when the employee is a driver, passenger, or pedestrian. If you work remotely, read employers’ responsibility for remote workers’ compensation to learn more. You can claim compensation for bodily injuries, property losses, and other damages. 

    Motor vehicle crashes can cause severe injuries, disability, and death. If you’re in a motor vehicle crash while on the job, consider involving a lawyer. Dressie Law Firm will help you file a claim for medical expenses, legal fees, property damage, emotional distress, and more.

    Intentional Torts

    Workplace violence, such as assault, battery, and other intentional torts, can result in injury and trauma. These criminal acts are perpetrated by fellow workers or strangers. Regardless of the reasons, such attacks often result in bodily injury, ranging in severity from mild to fatal.

    If you’re a victim of workplace violence, report the incident and contact an attorney promptly. Unreported assaults in the workplace can lead to further bullying, extortion, and new attacks. 

    Unfortunately, criminal acts cannot be expected, especially in the workplace. However, it is still the employer’s responsibility to ensure a safe environment for their workers. They must set in place de-escalation training and safe reporting procedures and hire qualified security agents. Workplaces must also have a robust security system, including cameras.

    Understanding Workers’ Compensation

    If you’re injured at work or during a work-related mission, you can recover compensation for medical bills and other damages. In Georgia, you have the right to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the person liable for the accident after a workplace injury but not the employer. Instead, you file a workers’ compensation claim to recover damages. 

    In either option, you can recover medical expenses, disability, and lost wages. However, you can only recover pain and suffering damages in a personal injury claim.

    Dressie Law Firm has experienced attorneys ready to provide legal counsel and representation. You can speak to our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney today to learn how we can help you. We have handled several successful workers’ compensation claims in Georgia.

    What to Do After a Workplace Accident

    Immediate Steps

    • Get Medical Attention: Seek professional medical care to treat all your injuries and get a comprehensive prognosis. Keep all receipts.

    • Report the Accident: Report the incident to your employer as soon as possible to protect your right to compensation under workers’ comp.

    • Collect and Preserve Evidence: Collect and keep all evidence you can get, including plate numbers, camera footage, and witness statements.

    Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

    Filing a workers’ compensation claim is seamless with the help of an attorney. A lawyer allows you to focus on your well-being while they build and pursue your case. Here are the steps involved in filing a workers’ compensation claim following a workplace accident:

    • Consult an Attorney: Involve a workers’ compensation attorney immediately. The attorney can review your case and identify the most favorable approach for maximum compensation.

    • Collect the Necessary Paperwork: Your attorney can identify all the documentation required for your case. The attorney will help you to obtain the necessary paperwork, including employment, insurance, and supporting documents. 

    • Fill in and File Form WC-14: Once again, your lawyer can help you obtain, fill, and file Form WC-14. This is the official form used to open a workers’ compensation claim, so all details must be accurate.

    At Dressie Law Firm, we have experienced lawyers ready to walk with you until you receive the compensation you deserve. 

    Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at the Dressie Law Firm

    Every business has a responsibility to ensure workplace safety and prevent accidents. Without a safe work environment, you can fall victim to workplace injuries. 

    Have you or a loved one suffered a workplace injury? We encourage you to take action immediately. Whether it’s a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim, time is not on your side. You only have enough time to investigate the accident, gather the required evidence, and file your claim within the deadline.

    Dressie Law Firm is home to award-winning workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyers. We can help you navigate legal options to secure compensation for your injuries and damages. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.

    The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You

    If you or a loved one is a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, we want you to know that the law is on your side and so is the Dressie Law Firm.

    Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!