Regardless of your occupation, or in which Minnesota industry you earn your living, the risk of suffering serious occupational injuries is ever-present. Thousands of workers nationwide suffer severe or even fatal injuries each year. In many cases, the consequences cause financial instability, along with long-term health problems or disabilities. How will you cope in such circumstances?
When looking at the most common work-related injuries, insurance providers across the country agree that a significant percentage of injuries are not freak accidents but random incidents that could happen to any worker in any industry. That does not make them less dangerous — even a slip-and-fall accident can cause a traumatic brain injury.
Insurers’ list of common occupational injuries
Workers’ compensation insurance providers nationwide list the following as common injuries for which workers claim compensation:
- Overexertion injuries: These include musculoskeletal injuries that result from lifting, pulling, holding, carrying, pushing and throwing objects. This type of injury can occur in an instant or gradually, with potential years of chronic pain and ongoing medical expenses the outcome for most affected workers.
- Workplace violence: This occupational hazard is becoming more common in various industries. It could result from disagreements with co-workers or clients, and even a random person coming off the street could cause severe or fatal injuries — especially when they use firearms.
- Slips, trips and falls: Wet surfaces caused by spills or leaks could cause you to slip, and you could trip over randomly placed objects or debris. Injuries can range from bruises to fractured bones or head trauma.
- Repetitive stress injuries: If your job entails repetitive motions, whether it is typing on a keyboard or repeating the same movements for hours on an assembly line or a meat processing plant, you will likely suffer the consequences over time. Strained muscles, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and vision problems are typical consequences.
- Falling from heights: Any job you do at elevated heights poses fall hazards. Whether you work on a scaffold, ladder, roof or platform, a fall from any height could cause life-changing injuries.
- Machine entanglement: Any jobs that involve working on or around equipment with moving parts pose entanglement risks — often causing amputation injuries.
- Falling objects: Objects dropped by workers on higher levels at a construction site, or something that falls from a shelf in a warehouse or office, can cause serious head injuries.
- Walking into objects: Distractions can cause you to walk into cabinets, doors, walls or any stationary objects. Typical injuries include head, neck, foot and knee damage.
- Vehicle accidents: If your job involves driving a vehicle, there will always be a risk of a collision with severe consequences.
The fact that none of these injuries seem out of the ordinary does not make them insignificant. A work-related accident can cause life-changing, catastrophic injuries that could affect the rest of not only your life but also the lives of your family. You might find comfort in knowing that the Minnesota workers’ compensation system will have your back, but who will fight for your rights to cover future medical expenses and wages if your injury caused a partial or complete disability?
This is where the skills of an experienced workers compensation attorney come in. With the support and guidance of legal counsel, the entire claims process could be much simpler.