Sometimes no matter how careful you are and no matter how much you try not to rush a project or task, accidents do happen at work. There are some professions where your risk for workplace injury is greater than others. However, accidents do not tend to single out just one profession. They can happen all too often anywhere, at any time. Some of the most common on the job injuries in Pennsylvania include:
• Slip, Trip, or Fall: Probably one of the most common workplace injuries, slips, trips, or falls can be caused by unstable equipment, loss of balance, and/or slick pavement or flooring. Most commonly occurring among construction, retail, service, or manufacturing jobs, slips, trips, or falls can result in sprains, strains, tears, head injuries, knee injuries, and/or fractured or broken bones.
• Lifting Injuries: About one-third of all workplace injuries result in injuries to muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, or spinal discs. Quite often these types of injuries are common in the nursing, transportation, manufacturing, warehouse, or retail fields. They are usually the result of poor lifting techniques or twisting or contorting your body in an unnatural position. Usually these injuries start in the neck or the upper or lower back, but may radiate to other limbs in the body. Recovery from such injuries may take a long time.
• Automobile Accidents: Anyone who uses a vehicle for work purposes, such as a salesman, teacher, or pizza delivery driver may one day have an automobile accident while working. Head injuries, broken bones, and soft tissue injuries can be among the most common injuries requiring medical attention.
• Burns: Construction, manufacturing, food service, maintenance, and even those in the trucking or drilling rig industry are the most likely to receive a burn injury. Food service employees can get burned by getting too close to steam from a boiling pot or rubbing up against a hot surface, such as a burner or oven. Construction, manufacturing, maintenance, trucking, or drilling rig employees face burn dangers from chemical spills or putting flammable liquids too close to equipment.
• Cuts: Food service and construction employees are the most at risk for cuts on the job. Food service employees are at risk from cuts when using knives or meat slicers. Construction workers face the risk of cuts when operating saws or other power tools. These cuts can sometimes lead to infections, making the injury more serious.
• Heavy Equipment: Construction, trucking, and drilling rig employees are the most at risk for heavy equipment injury. The most common injuries include falls from equipment at various heights and crushing injuries, including bone and tissue, pinching, compression, and torsion.
Should you experience any of the above injuries while on the job, you should follow these steps:
• Record the injury right away: Make note of where the accident happened, the condition under which the accident happened, any possible witnesses, the exact location of the injury you received, and the type of injury that occurred.
• Report the injury to your immediate supervisor
• Get a copy of the accident or incident report from your employer
• Seek medical attention or advice from one of your employer’s panel appointed providers, or your own doctor if your employer has not provided you with a list of panel providers. The list of panel providers is to be provided to you at the time of hire and at the time of your reported injury. If your employer does properly provide you with such a list, then you are required, in most circumstances to treat with the panel providers for the first 90 days in order to have your medical bills paid for by the workers’ compensation carrier.
• Contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to see if you are eligible for workers’ compensation wage loss and medical benefits.