It’s a simple fact that some jobs are more physically dangerous than others. If your job requires demanding physical labor, working with dangerous equipment or handling hazardous materials, you put yourself at risk every single day. An accident can happen at any time and cause a major workplace injury that could put you out of work for a long time — maybe for good. Or, the workplace conditions may lead to a repetitive stress injury or illness that hinders your ability to work.
Some of the most dangerous jobs include:
- Heavy Machinery
- Chemical Processing
- Hazardous Materials (Hazmat)
- Civil Service
- Professional Drivers/Delivery
And that’s just to name a few!
Types of Workplace Injuries
Every year, an estimated three million workplace injuries occur in the US. This is about 8,000 injuries per day, 350 per hour, or six injuries per minute. Workplace injuries can lead to decreased productivity, loss of valuable workers and cost an estimated $50 billion.
The most common types of workplace injuries include back injuries, slips and falls and struck by objects. Back injuries may occur as a result of overexertion, improper posture and poor lifting technique. The overexertion injury rate is about 28 per 10,000 full-time workers and represented 31.4% of injuries in 2018. The age group at highest risk for this type of injury is 45 to 64.
Falls can occur on level surfaces or from a height. The injury rate is about 24 per 10,000 full-time workers and accounted for 26.7% of injuries in 2018. Individuals 55 and over and those working in the transportation, warehousing and agriculture industries are at greatest risk of falling, slipping, or tripping in the workplace and sustaining an injury.
Employees may also be struck by objects, such as in a vehicle accident or by falling objects, dropped tools, unstable loads, flying debris from power tools and compressed air use. This type of injury has a rate of 23.5 injuries per 10,000 full-time workers and accounted for 26.2% of injuries in 2018. The age group most at risk for this type of injury is 16 to 24.
Employees may also sustain machine-related injuries, such as caught and crush injuries resulting from moving machinery.
Other common workplace injuries include:
- Transportation incidents
- Violence and other injuries by persons or animals
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments
- Fire and explosions
What if a Workplace Injury Happens?
The point is that when you work a job like this, you never know when a work injury or debilitating illness can put you out of action. Conditions may be unsafe or unsanitary. Accidents can happen without warning.
If you are put out of work by a workplace injury or illness—especially when it is the result of an unsafe work environment—it can be a struggle to get by and pay living expenses. That’s not even mentioning the medical bills that can pile up. You are entitled to workers’ compensation according to California law.
Getting the Workers’ Compensation Benefits You Deserve
Employers and their workers’ compensation insurance companies are naturally going to put up a fight and try to minimize your benefits. They are going to protect their own financial interests. They may offer ongoing workers’ compensation coverage or a lump-sum settlement, but you need to make sure that it is enough to cover your financial needs while you are out of work.
Types of Disabilities
It’s important to note there are different types of workplace disabilities:
Temporary Disability. A temporary disability is just as it sounds. It is a work injury or illness that prevents you from working for a certain amount of time. It may be weeks, months or years. Workers’ compensation benefits should cover your living and medical expenses during the time you are out of work.
To obtain temporary disability benefits in California, a physician must create a report saying that the employee is unable to work or is limited in the type and amount of work they can perform. The employer must then decide if they can modify any work to accommodate the employee’s physical limitations. The injured employee will receive a physical evaluation every 45 days and the physician will make recommendations about their ability to perform certain tasks in the workplace.
Permanent Disability. A permanent disability is more serious. It prevents you from ever being able to work the same kind of job again, whether it’s a completely debilitating injury/illness that keeps you from working at all or it’s a chronic issue that means you can’t perform the same duties you did before. You may need workers’ compensation benefits to cover the necessary expenses for the rest of your life. In some cases, workers’ compensation will include job retraining or educational expenses to help you find a different job you can perform. Many permanent disability cases will end up with a lump-sum settlement, so you have to be extra sure that you are getting what you need and deserve.
To obtain permanent disability benefits in California, a physician must determine that the workplace injury or illness has caused permanent disability and the injury has stabilized and is unlikely to change. The physician will send a report to the claims administrator notifying them of the employee’s physical disability status.
Thomas F. Martin – Best Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Orange County, CA
If you have suffered a work injury or illness as a result of your workplace environment, don’t settle for less than you should. Thomas F. Martin is here to help you as a leading workers’ compensation attorney in Orange County, CA.
Having a workers’ compensation lawyer with specialized experience on your side will make a significant difference throughout the process. From correctly filing all the necessary documentation and medical reports to fighting for your rights during any denials or appeals processes that may happen, Thomas and his team will work for you to ensure the best possible outcome.
It’s your livelihood. Don’t settle for less than the best when it comes to your workers’ compensation benefits!
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