5 Common Causes of Industrial Injuries
In Florida, there were over 300 fatal occupational injuries in 2016. This was 37 more than the year before, and 81 more than in 2014. Nationwide, more than 4,000 individuals are killed each year in workplace accidents. Workers in many industries deal with occupational hazards, and industrial work is among the most dangerous.
Florida has seen its fair share of industrial accidents lately. Last year, two workers were killed and four were injured at a power plant in Apollo Beach. This past July, there were two industrial accidents at Walt Disney World on the same day. The incidents at Disney World were separate and unrelated, and one of them resulted in a fatality.
Industrial accidents can result in several types of workplace injuries. Here are five of the most common:
Slips and Falls
Slipping, tripping, and falling accounts for roughly one-third of all workplace accidents. These incidents can happen anywhere in an industrial operation, and they are one of the leading causes of workers’ compensation claims. Slips, trips and falls can happen because of wet and oily surfaces, loose carpets, mats or other flooring, spills, poor lighting, obstructed views, clutter, cracked and/or uneven surfaces, and many other hazards. Falls may not seem like a big deal, but they can result in many types of serious injury, such as cuts, bruises, lacerations, broken bones, and head and back injuries.
Poorly labeled and poorly contained chemicals can expose workers to toxic substances, resulting in various types of occupational illnesses. These chemicals can also explode and catch fire while an individual is working nearby, resulting in severe burns and other serious injuries.
Industrial workers are usually in proximity to numerous types of machinery. Product and mechanical defects and reckless operation of machinery by poorly trained employees can cause nearby workers to become struck by the machinery or loose objects that come out of it. Potentially hazardous machinery must be safeguarded at all times to prevent these occurrences.
In an industrial setting, there are always large vehicles bringing materials in and out of the workplace. Drivers and those walking nearby must exercise caution to avoid motor vehicle accidents at work. Some common types of accidents involving motor vehicles include being struck or run over by a vehicle in motion, falling from a vehicle, being struck by objects falling from a vehicle, and being injured in a crash with another vehicle or object. Vehicle accidents are among the leading causes of serious injuries and fatalities.
Repetitive stress injuries are more subtle than other types of industrial injuries, but they can still cause serious physical harm to workers over time. Employees who perform repetitive tasks in an industrial setting are most susceptible to overexertion. Some of the leading causes of repetitive motion injuries include improper lifting techniques, lifting more weight than one person can handle, being asked to do repetitive tasks faster than is safe and healthy to do, and not being given enough break time. Back injuries and musculoskeletal disorders are injuries that are commonly caused by overexertion.
Obtaining Compensation for Industrial Injuries
It is incumbent upon employers to properly train their employees on taking appropriate safety measures to avoid workplace accidents. Workers must also be given the proper safety gear, and employers must follow all other federal, state, and local laws and regulations. In Florida, most employers are also required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Under workers’ comp, employees are able to receive benefits to cover medical expenses, a percentage of lost wages, and compensation for a disability if they suffer a workplace injury. Unfortunately, employers sometimes make it very difficult for workers to navigate the complexities of the workers’ comp system. When this occurs, contact a skilled Florida workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
There are times when an industrial injury is the fault of a party other than the employer or the injured worker. For example, the injury could be caused by a defective product, in which case you might have a product liability claim against the manufacturer, supplier, or distributor. Another possibility is that the injury was caused by an outside party. This is a common occurrence with motor vehicle accidents. In such cases, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for the accident.
Speak with a Seasoned Pensacola Workplace Accidents Lawyer
Industrial injuries can be severe and catastrophic, and when this is the case, workers deserve to be compensated. At Whibbs Stone & Barnett, we have over six decades of combined experience standing up for the working people in Florida. We understand the complexities of workplace injury cases, and we work closely with our clients to explore all potential legal avenues toward obtaining full compensation. For a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, call us today at 1-888-219-4561 or send us a message through our web contact form.