There were almost six thousand claims made for Michigan Workers Compensation in 2017. While this figure is disturbing, the worrying factor is that this does not reveal the total number of workplace accidents; many go unreported due to the lack of knowledge surrounding workers’ rights. Worse still is the fact that the overwhelming majority of these accidents were preventable.
Safety should be your number one priority no matter your industry, workload, or contracting pressures. To help, we’ve provided a list of common workplace accidents worth looking out for.
1. Slips, Trips, and Falls
Falls constitute 30% of all workplace accidents. Scaffolding hazards are among the most common causes of fall-related injuries. These are generally caused by slippery surfaces, weather hazards, or defective planking. Given their nature, falls are serious injuries that often damage the spinal cord, which then enables further complications such as paralysis.
Workplaces must always remain clear and uncluttered. Tripping in a messy environment might cause only minor injuries, but the complications of these injuries may become more severe over time. Furthermore, in the event of a fire, a trip hazard can mean the difference between life and death.
In the same way, unsecured items on tall structures should always be considered as a safety hazard. This is especially pertinent in exterior scaffolding on which the objects are affected by wind; even on a still day, the objects could suddenly catch a gust and fall onto a worker below.
Workers in the construction industry are the most common victims of workplace electrocution. These injuries are usually caused by heavy machinery, such as cranes, coming into contact with overhead wires; because humans are natural electrical conductors, the electricity then surges through the victim’s body and causes a cardiac arrest. Construction workers also face a risk of electrocution if they are working on a tall structure when lightning strikes.
Maintenance and repair workers are always at risk from electrocution. Not every individual is aware of standard electrical safety, so call-outs must be handled carefully. Worryingly, though, a large amount of workplace electrocution occurs because of malpractice by employers or safety officers. If proper care is not taken, the individual could experience an electric shock.
Truck drivers face the most significant workplace risk of any occupation; in 2015, transportation incidents doubled that of falls, slips, and trips. While the blame certainly falls on poor drivers in some cases, many claims made to Workers Compensation MI discover reckless management to be the issue. (It should be noted that, on occasion, external causes can lead to transportation incidents.)
Michigan attorneys often find that haulage companies are hiring unqualified drivers, pressuring their employees to reduce delivery times, and failing to conduct drug and alcohol tests properly. If your employer is violating safety issues, you should file a report on the Department of Transportation website.