Going to work is hard enough. Nobody wants to get injured there, but it does happen from time to time. A construction worker may fall off a roof. A factory worker may get their hand caught in a machine. An office worker may slip on the newly waxed floor in the breakroom.
Workplace accidents can happen anywhere at any time. Fortunately, employees can receive benefits — even if they contributed to the accident — through workers’ compensation. For the most part, this program is a worker’s only avenue to obtain compensation for a workplace injury. However, in cases where the employer was clearly negligent, a lawsuit may be possible.
Workers’ compensation is designed to provide benefits to the injured worker without assigning blame to anyone. Employers generally pay into the program to obtain insurance.
Injuries in the Workplace
In 2020, when COVID ravaged Florida and other parts of the country, coronavirus exposure was the most common cause of workplace injuries and illnesses. Other types of exposure include noise, electricity, radiation, temperature extremes, and changes in air and water pressure.
Overexertion and bodily reaction are other causes of workplace injuries. This category includes non-impact injuries, such as lifting, pushing, carrying, and throwing. It also includes repetitive motion tasks, such as factory work and computer work.
Slips, trips, and falls are also common in the workplace. These actions include slips and trips without falling, falling on the same level, falling to a lower level, and jumping to a lower level.
An employee can also get injured by contact with objects and equipment. This could mean several things, such as:
- A worker getting hit by a moving object.
- A worker bumping into, stepping on, or being thrown onto an object.
- A worker’s body part being squeezed, compressed, or crushed in equipment or between stationary objects.
- A worker getting hit, caught, or crushed in collapsing structure or equipment.
- A worker who is injured from vibration.
Common injuries in the workplace include:
- Strains. When a worker overexerts themselves, they can suffer strains. Strains can occur in the neck and back, causing significant pain.
- Repetitive stress injuries. Repetitive motions, such as typing on a computer, can lead to stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Broken bones. Broken bones tend to happen due to falls. A worker can break their leg, arm, or wrist in a fall. Machinery accidents, such as getting struck by an object or getting pushed by a machine, can also lead to broken bones.
- Head injuries. Injuries to the head are also common. This can happen in a car accident, at a construction site, or during a slip-and-fall accident. A head injury can cause a wide variety of symptoms, such as memory and concentration problems, vision changes, emotional problems, mobility issues, and more.
When a Workplace Accident Leads to Fatality
Although most workplace accidents cause injuries to some degree, there are some that actually cause death. Hundreds of people die in Florida workplaces every year. While a workplace fatality can happen anywhere, there are some industries that see a higher death rate or number of deaths compared to other types of work. One of these is the construction industry. Construction sites have many dangerous elements, such as heights, heavy materials, electricity, and machines. If a worker does not follow safety procedures, they could be involved in a workplace accident.
The agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sector is also at risk, especially those in the logging industry. People who work in forests chopping down trees are exposed to dangerous equipment like chainsaws. Plus, trees do not always fall as predicted and can kill workers in their path.
Health services are also high on the list, especially since COVID. Nurses and doctors suffered fatalities after dealing with COVID patients. These medical workers are also exposed to infection and viruses, which can lead to fatality.
In Florida, the top three causes of fatalities in the workplace include:
- Traffic accidents. Those who drive for a living, such as truckers, taxi drivers, delivery people, and couriers, face a high risk of fatality. These accidents are often caused by human error, such as drunk driving, fatigue, and not following traffic laws. Many of these crashes happen at intersections due to failure to yield.
- Slips and falls. Slips and falls happen quite often. For the most part, workers survive such an accident. However, there are situations in which a fall damages the brain or spinal cord, resulting in a fatality. This is especially true in the construction industry, where a worker can fall multiple stories.
- Substance exposure. Exposure to substances may include chemicals such as radiation. It may also include changes in air and water pressure, as well as illnesses like COVID.
Contact Us Today
Florida’s workers’ compensation program allows you to receive financial compensation for damages you suffer in a workplace accident. If you have been affected, make sure you seek legal help.
Do not leave money on the table. The team at Brill & Rinaldi, The Law Firm will assess your case and ensure you get all the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call (954) 876-4344 or fill out the online form. We have offices in Weston, Coral Gables, and Daytona Beach.