What constitutes a workplace injury? While you might immediately think of major accidents and severe injuries, these are not the only dangers you face while on the job. Indeed, you could even be at a higher risk for more "routine" injuries, such as sprains.
This can make staying safe on the job problematic. Even if you closely follow safety regulations and use proper equipment, you could still get hurt doing something as simple as performing repetitive motion or other common job duties.
Worker injuries happen more than you think
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, annually, approximately 1 million work injuries occur for which victims require time off work. Although one out of every 100 full-time workers might not seem all that bad, the average number of days that a person loses to injury is nine. That is a lot of lost days and even more lost wages.
So if the number of injuries and missed days are so high, why do you not hear about major work accidents more frequently? That is because major accidents are not the driving force behind these worker injuries. Instead, falls, overexertion and non-violent events are much more likely to lead to harm.
What are some of the most common injuries?
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that concussions are the sixth most common type of worker injury. There are approximately 18,680 reports every year, with the average victim taking about seven days off work to recover. This adds up to 130,760 days of lost work per year.
The number one, most common types of worker injury are strains, sprains and tears. Typically stemming from overexertion or repeated movements, there are an astounding 406,200 complaints every year. With victims missing an average of 10 days of work, there are an annual 4,062,000 work days lost for something that most people view as routine. As the numbers show, this type of injury is anything but.
What about my wages?
Missing work for an injury is incredibly stressful for most people. If you are not at work, you may not get paid. Coupled with medical bills and other costs associated with recovering from an injury, even a few days out of work can put you in a difficult position.
Still, there is no need to rush back to work after an accident. If you need time to focus on your well-being and recovery, workers' compensation can help bridge that financial gap. Applying for workers' comp can be complicated, though, so many victims choose to work with an attorney when filing their initial requests or when seeking appeals of denied claims.