February 15th, 2022

3 Most Common Workers’ Compensation Injuries & How to Avoid Them

Employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance once they hire an employee. Workers’ compensation provides employees with pay when they are hurt on the job or can no longer perform their job due to work-related injuries. Unfortunately, this is because workplace injuries are all too common.

According to the National Safety Council, a worker gets injured on the job every seven seconds in the U.S. This doesn’t mean your workers will get hurt at this rate. Industries with the most likelihood for work-related injuries include: 

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

Workers’ compensation insurance is there to protect your employees and business when an injury occurs. But there are also ways to create a safe and healthy workplace to avoid injuries. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the most common workplace injuries—and how you can help your employees avoid them.

Common Workers Compensation Injuries and How to Avoid Them 

1. Strains and Sprains

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found 30% of workers’ compensation claims are from strains or sprains. It is not a surprise that these are the most common injuries for workers’ compensation claims. We’ve all experienced a sprain or pulled muscle after a slip, trip, or fall. And these incidents can happen at any job. 

The most common preventative measure for slips, trips, or falls is proper footwear. Businesses in the construction, retail, and restaurant industries are familiar with this requirement. But whether you’re on your feet or in an office setting, there are other ways to prevent this kind of workplace injury: 

  • Inspect work areas for uneven walking surfaces and tripping hazards.
  • Ensure there is proper lighting so employees can see when moving 
  • Immediately clean up spills and leaks

Other causes of strains and sprains include the use of excessive force, repetitive movements, and awkward positions. Sitting in a chair for long hours even counts as a repetitive movement—and is the leading cause of back pain for office workers. Employees should take frequent breaks to ease their muscles and prevent injuries. Breaks also provide a mental reset and can help boost overall productivity.

2. Cumulative or Continuous Trauma 

Cumulative or continuous trauma is a fancy way of capturing all the injuries that result from overexertion and overuse of the body—such as soreness or chronic pain. Preventing this kind of injury can be more challenging than just making sure employees take breaks.

Some jobs are physically demanding. Teaching employees how to properly manage their soreness and pain is usually a better route to avoid trauma on the body. Icing, stretching, rest, and pain relievers are a few options for dealing with soreness and pain.  

3. Bruises and Lacerations 

Bruises and lacerations don’t happen as often as the injuries above. That’s because these injuries are usually a result of machinery or tools. Not every job will require the use of equipment. 

Lacerations of the eyes are especially common in construction and manufacturing, which is why it’s so important to wear eye protection. But other jobs require other forms of defense such as steel-toed boots, chainmail clothing, gloves, or other personal protective equipment. Here are other ways to prevent bruises and lacerations: 

  • Ensure employees have the proper equipment and tools and have been trained to use the equipment 
  • Limit distractions in areas where equipment is in use
  • Allow extra time for duties involving equipment for proper setup and handling

As you can see, the most frequent causes of injury include falls, overexertion, and equipment handling. So any protective measures you can take to prevent these will do the most to minimize workplace injuries and workers’ compensation claims in your business.

Managing Your Workers Compensation Insurance and Claims 

If your business is in an industry where workplace injuries are common we can help! Obsidian HR can provide you with cost-effective coverage for your workers’ compensation insurance needs with a pay-as-you-go pricing option. This option lowers your upfront costs and we assess it every year to make sure you have the most competitive rates. 

Further, we manage your claims for you to make sure you’re compliant and reduce the stress of workers’ compensation claims. We also have resources and expertise to help you prevent future occurrences with back-to-work programs and workplace health and safety guidance. Reach out to our team to learn more about our options for workers’ compensation insurance. 

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