According to data from the National Safety Council (NSC), an American worker is hurt on the job once every seven seconds. Workplace injuries come in many different forms—varying widely in both their cause and level of severity. In Washington state, the vast majority of employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. When a job-related injury occurs, workers’ comp offers medical coverage and wage loss benefits. Here is a list of some of the most common work-related injuries that are covered by workers’ compensation in Seattle.
Seven of the Most Common Work Injuries in Washington
- Slip and Falls/Trip and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls are among the leading causes of workplace injuries. These accidents result in many different types of injuries, from broken bones to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Alarmingly, far too many employers are still falling short when it comes to preventing fall accidents. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) reports that inadequate fall protection was the single most frequently cited workplace safety issue in the 2018 fiscal year.
- Overexertion Injuries
An overexertion injury occurs when too much pressure is applied to the human body. In most cases, overexertion causes muscle injuries, ligament injuries, or other types of soft tissue damage. For example, a worker who tries to lift too much weight may end up developing a serious back injury. Overexertion injuries can happen in every industry—from an office to a construction site.
- Machinery Accidents
In many industries, workers are required to operate complex and potentially dangerous machinery or equipment on the job. When safety precautions are not taken—for example, when companies fail to train workers on how to use machinery properly or when they fail to conduct regular equipment maintenance—serious accidents can occur. Machinery-related injuries usually require immediate medical attention. While these injuries are covered by workers’ comp, in some limited cases, the manufacturer of the equipment may also bear liability for a worker’s injuries.
- Transportation Accidents
Surprisingly, one of the riskiest things that you can do on the job is to get into a car. Work-related car accidents remain one of the top causes of on the job injuries in Washington. You may be able to recover workers’ comp benefits for any crash that occurs within the scope of your employment.
- Workplace Violence
Workplace violence has become a serious problem in many professions. Violent attacks committed by co-workers, customers, patients, and other parties may leave innocent workers dealing with severe injuries. Notably, workplace violence is an issue in many professions that you might not expect. For example, assaults and workplace violence have become a real problem for nurses.
- Exposure to Dangerous Substances
If workers deal with dangerous chemicals or other toxic substances on the job, it is imperative that an employer has proper safeguards and protocols in place to protect staff and members of the general public from harm. Workers who have been exposed to a dangerous substance should seek immediate medical attention—in an emergency scenario, call the Washington Poison Center (WAPC) for reliable guidance.
- Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs)
When thinking about work injuries, most people conjure up images of falls, equipment issues, or other one-time accidents. Of course, that is not how all workplace injuries occur. Workers that are required to do the same tasks day in and day out sometimes develop gradual, yet debilitating injuries. You may hear these injuries referred to as repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) or repetitive trauma injuries (RTIs).
In Washington, workers’ compensation insurance covers RSIs/RTIs that can be tied to a claimant’s employment. In many cases pursuing benefits for a gradual injury can be challenging. If your claim for benefits was turned down, you should reach out to an experienced Washington work injury lawyer who can review your case and help you bring an effective appeal of the workers’ compensation denial.
Schedule a Free Workers’ Compensation Consultation Today
At The Walthew Law Firm, our Washington workers’ compensation lawyers have fought to protect the legal rights and financial interests of injured workers for more than eight decades. If you or someone you know was hurt on the job, we can help. To arrange a free review of your work injury claim, please contact us today. We represent injured workers throughout the region, including in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, and Tacoma.