15 Sep, 2023

What Are the 5 Most Common Causes of Workplace Accidents in Bloomington?

Author Todd A. Strong
Physical injury at work of construction worker. what are the 5 most common causes of workplace accidents
Physical injury at work of construction worker. what are the 5 most common causes of workplace accidents

What are the 5 most common causes of accidents in the workplace? Basic causes of accidents in the workplace include overexertion and fatigue, slips and falls, improper work environment, vehicle-related accidents, and being struck by moving objects, equipment, or machinery.

Knowing how to prevent these and other common workplace injuries can have a significant impact on the safety of employees. Although workplace injuries occur frequently in Illinois, they can have physical and emotional long-term implications for the people affected. Victims often have difficulty obtaining the compensation they deserve when going up against resistant-to-pay insurance companies.

Workplace injuries can be expensive for small businesses and their employees. According to a 2022 report based on 2019 data, serious, non-fatal workplace injuries now account for almost $50 billion in U.S. workers’ compensation costs.

5 Most Common Causes of Workplace Accidents

Some of the most common causes of accidents in the workplace include:

Overexertion and Fatigue

Engaging in physical activity for prolonged periods can be exhausting and pose a risk of accidents relating to physical exertion, such as lifting, bending, pulling, pushing, and kneeling. Even jobs that don't require individuals to lift heavy loads can pose a health risk if proper lifting techniques are not practiced.

The most costly workplace injuries resulting from overexertion are musculoskeletal disorders, with back pain alone costing employers over 7 billion dollars and leading to more than 100 million lost work days annually. These injuries negatively impact productivity and result in millions of dollars in annual health benefit payout costs.

These can have severe and potentially debilitating long-term effects on workers, accounting for approximately 33% of occupational injuries.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Aside from overexertion, slips, trips, and falls are the most common accidents in the workplace. On average, two employees die every year due to slipping, tripping, or falling. However, workplace accidents caused by slips, trips, and falls are some of the easiest to prevent.

It is crucial for all employees to be mindful of any open drawers, spills, wet floors, or slippery surfaces while walking around the workplace and to take necessary steps to prevent these accidents.

Unsafe Workplace Conditions

Unsafe workplace conditions can include hazards in the workplace, inadequate lighting, not having proper safety equipment, or not following correct safety protocols.

Inadequate lighting is responsible for a number of accidents each year. This is often overlooked when attempting to prevent accidents in the warehouse or workplace. Improper handling of hazardous materials or not wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) is another common cause of accidents in the workplace. By reading material safety data sheets and providing the appropriate protective equipment, many workplace incidents can be avoided.

Vehicle-Related Accidents

Motorized land vehicles, such as trucks and motorcycles, are involved in incidents that can cause injuries to the driver, passenger, or even pedestrians. These injuries account for $3.59 billion in workers' compensation costs in the United States, which is equivalent to 6.18% of the total cost of workplace accidents.

Being Struck by Objects or Moving Machinery

Accidents can happen to anyone who works with heavy machinery, but they are more common in factories, farms, and construction sites. Machinery that is not properly guarded poses a safety hazard. When body parts get caught or struck by exposed moving parts or flying objects from machines without protective guards, the results can be disastrous.

Common Injuries Associated With Workplace Accidents

Workplace accidents can cause a range of injuries for employees, from lacerations to broken bones. The most common injuries in the workplace are:

  • Sprain, tears, and strains of ligaments, muscles, or tendons
  • Pain and soreness
  • Lacerations, punctures, and cuts
  • Contusions and bruises
  • Fractures

In Bloomington, Illinois, other common workplace injuries include:

Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress injuries are caused by doing the same task repeatedly, such as typing or working on an assembly line. These can cause severe pain and even prevent an employee from working in the future if left untreated.

Neck and Back Injuries

Your spine has many moving parts that can be damaged by shifting, slipping, fracturing, compressing, or overextending. Your neck and back can be damaged by lifting heavy boxes, being hit by falling objects, or making sudden movements. The most common back injuries are herniated discs, muscle strains, pinched nerves, compression fractures, facet joint damage, and spinal cord injury.

Head Injuries

Head injuries can occur in the workplace due to slip-and-falls, being hit by objects, or workplace violence. A head injury can result in trauma to the skull or brain, leading to physical limitations, problems with vision, memory, and concentration, or difficulty in handling stress and emotions.

Bone Fractures

A bone fracture is a medical condition that occurs when any bone in the body experiences a partial or complete break in its continuity. A bone can break due to excessive pressure, whether from a single blow, sustained pressure, or twisting of an arm or leg bone.

Although broken bones can happen in any line of work, they are more common in physically demanding jobs that involve heavy machinery, such as in the construction industry. Fractures can result from various accidents such as slip-and-falls, vehicle accidents, or being hit by moving objects or machinery.

What to Do After a Workplace Accident in Bloomington, IL

In the event of a workplace accident, it is crucial to gather evidence of what transpired to claim compensation. It is easier to collect proof of an injury soon after it occurs. Seeking medical attention is an essential step in this process. In case it's not possible to do so immediately, try to gather evidence of the incident as soon as possible.

Important steps to follow after a workplace accident include:

Document Your Injuries

Take photos of your injuries immediately after the accident if you can. Request copies of any medical records or statements made to the police.

Take Note of Witnesses

Note down any witnesses to the accident. Usually, managers and coworkers are witnesses during workplace injury cases. Write down their names and phone numbers if you don't have them already.

Accident Report

Complete an accident report with your supervisor or HR representative. Be factual and specific, but avoid discussing the incident outside the official report. Your manager or HR representative may try to get you to admit fault, so it's essential to stick to the facts and avoid answering questions until you can speak with your lawyer.

Contact Your attorney

Your Bloomington workers' compensation lawyer can help you build your case and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If your workers’ comp claim is denied, an attorney can help you file an appeal for benefits.

Although every case and injury is unique, it's vital to protect yourself and your family by following these guidelines. These steps enable your attorney to build your case and ensure that you receive adequate compensation for your suffering.

How to Prevent Workplace Injuries

Workplace accidents can have a significant impact on a company. These accidents can also uproot a victim's life completely. Therefore, it's essential to avoid accidents whenever possible. To reduce the chance of workplace accidents and injuries, there are several best practices that companies and employees can follow.

One crucial step in preventing accidents at work is for a company to develop a comprehensive safety and wellness plan. This plan should outline all safety policies and procedures for completing safety-related tasks, alerting management to possible hazards, and documenting any safety incidents.

It's equally vital for employees to remain alert while on the job. Distractions, fatigue, substance abuse, and lack of spatial awareness can be deadly and lead to severe accidents.

To promote a safer work environment, a company can require pre-employment physicals for demanding positions and hold regular training sessions, including training on proper lifting techniques, procedures for handling hazardous materials and operating machinery, accident reporting, and locations of emergency equipment like fire extinguishers. The company can also complete a safety evaluation to identify trends and possible hazards, provide protective gear, ensure proper lighting, perform regular inspections, and hire a safety officer.

Filing for Workers' Compensation After a Workplace Injury

If you get injured while working in Bloomington, Illinois, workers’ compensation is the only option available for you to obtain compensation from your employer. You cannot sue your employer for the injury unless extenuating circumstances apply.

Workers' compensation provides coverage to you for all the costs associated with the work-related injury. Unlike other claims for compensation, you don't need to prove your employer's negligence to receive benefits. Workers' compensation benefits cover all medical expenses, lost wages, long-term care costs, and, in some cases, career rehabilitation.

If the injury results in permanent or temporary disability, you may receive disability benefits proportionate to your wages and the level of disability. If the injury forces you to switch to a lower-paid job, partial disability benefits are available. In the unfortunate event of death, workers' compensation provides death benefits to your dependents left behind.

About The Author

Photo of Todd A. Strong
Illinois workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyer Todd A. Strong is the founder of Strong Law Offices in Peoria, Illinois. Todd brings considerable legal knowledge, experience, and skill to the table to ensure injured victims throughout the state are treated with respect, dignity, and fairness.