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Most Common Occupational Injuries Covered by Workers' Comp

A work-related injury is also known as an occupational injury. If you have suffered an occupational injury, you may file a workers' compensation claim with your employer to seek benefits to compensate you for your medical bills and loss of wages. If your employer denies you workers' comp coverage, you may appeal to your state workers' compensation bureau to attempt to force your employer to pay you benefits.

Some occupational injuries occur more frequently than others. In many cases, these occupational injuries are unique to a specific industry, such as the mining or construction. In other cases, these injuries are very common and occur in many different types of lines of work. Regardless of what industry you work in, it is best to practice proper workplace safety to prevent any occupational injuries from occurring.

Occupational Injury Statistics

According to the history of workers' compensation, states are in charge of implementing and enforcing workers' compensation laws. However, the federal government does keep track of annual incidents of occupational injuries, both fatal and non-fatal.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 3.69 million cases of nonfatal injuries and illnesses reported within the private sector in 2008. Of these injuries and illnesses, more than one million involved workers missing days of work.

In addition, some of the most common types of nonfatal occupational injuries were sprains, strains, and tears, which made up 416,620 injuries in 2008. Meanwhile, there were 234,840 injuries involving falls and 222,290 injuries to the back in 2008.

There were also 4,670 fatal injuries in 2008 within the private sector. Of these, 1,044 occurred on the highway, 658 involved falls, and 453 involved homicides.

Top Workplace Hazards

Although it is difficult to pinpoint exactly which workplace hazards present the most danger to workers as a whole, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has outlined some of the most common workplace hazards, which frequently result in workers' compensation claims.

According to the CDC, the following are some of the most common hazards and exposures, which could lead to various types of occupational injuries and illnesses. If you believe you have suffered an occupational injury due to one of these hazards, you should speak to your employer or a workers' comp attorney about filing for workers' comp.

  • Aerosols
  • Asphalt fumes
  • Carbonless copy paper
  • Cold and heat stress
  • Explosions and explosives in mining
  • Poisonous plants and animals
  • Drug exposure for health care practitioners
  • Fires
  • Ultraviolet radiation

Workplace Safety

To minimize the occurrence of occupational injury, it is important to practice workplace safety. Although specific safety procedures will vary from industry to industry and worksite to worksite, there are some general guidelines that you can follow. Many of these guidelines were developed under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).

These OSHA guidelines include information pertaining to: