Types of Work Injuries

Types of Work Injuries

Injuries Covered Under Workers Compensation Ohio 

Strains, sprains, and tears are the most common type of workplace injuries. They account for almost four out of every ten employment-related occurrences that cause employees to miss days on the job.

Lifting, carrying, and lowering heavy items are the chief culprits, and the back and shoulders are their most common casualties.

However, many people are surprised to discover the wide variety of other work-related injuries and illnesses that are also eligible for compensation under policies set by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). 

There are dozens of distinct harms that can befall Ohio employees that are generally eligible for benefits. A small sampling includes:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – often related to data entry and typing, assembling, and other repetitive uses of the fingers, hands, and wrists.
  • Burns – from food preparation, exposure to machinery, welding, and scalding liquids, including coffee, soups and other drinks.
  • Falls – on slippery floors, icy walkways, uneven surfaces, or from ladders and scaffolding.
  • Puncture Wounds – from manufacturing equipment, construction tools, protruding storage items, and high-velocity office staplers and binders.
  • Hearing Loss – common in manufacturing settings, repair shops, airport runways and baggage processing areas, and music and entertainment venues.
  • Lung and Brain Injuries – from exposure to chemicals, mold, smoke, and second-hand smoke such as is often found in restaurants and bars.
  • Bites – from bees, dogs, spiders, and other insects and animals that workers encounter in the course of performing their duties. These can result in lost work days and persistent medical problems.

Nor do all job injuries have to be visible or physical. BWC evaluators often approve claims of work-related anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues, even when work-related activities only exacerbate preexisting conditions.  Among the most stress-inducing jobs in Ohio are firefighter, airline pilot, police officer, teacher, psychologist, health care worker, and event coordinator. But any job that results in mental health issues or aggravates existing conditions may be eligible under BWC workers’ compensation guidelines.

Injuries that arise anywhere on company property, including the cafeteria, exercise room, restroom, and parking lot, typically qualify the employee to receive paid medical treatments, reimbursement for lost wages, and other possible claims-related benefits.

But workers do not have to be at their place of employment when an injury happens to qualify. The key determinant is whether an employee is hurt or becomes ill as a result of job-related actions or exposures.

If an employee is afflicted at a company party, professional conference, on a client/customer call, or at a business lunch, so long as the employee was present as part of his or her job responsibilities, the injury will most often be eligible for workers’ compensation. Even accidents that occur while driving to or from a required company activity – but not regular commuting to and from the workplace – may be covered.

While individual cases will vary, even injuries that arise at work when an employee fails to follow established safety protocols – or is engaged in non-work related pranks or other hijinks – may be eligible for workers’ compensation.

Independent contractors, domestic workers, undocumented workers, and some seasonal and agricultural workers are typically not eligible for BWC benefits.

The list of injuries and circumstances that do not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits generally includes those claims that arise from activities that have nothing to do with work or result during the commission of a crime. When alcohol or narcotics are involved, the eligibility determination is often murky.  

The specific rules and applications pertaining to which work-related injuries are covered – and under what circumstances – are complex.  Many employees find their rights are best protected when they consult a workers’ compensation attorney soon after they are hurt or become ill to review the circumstances that led to their health problem and to determine their eligibility for benefits. That is especially true when a benefits claim includes elements that don’t conform to the most common injuries and related causes. 

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