What Are the Most Common Causes of Accidents in the Workplace?
This a question with a short, simple answer and a longer, more meaningful answer. We welcome this as an opportunity to give both versions.
Each year, Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) prepares a report titled Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. The most-recent year for which complete data is available is 2016. During that 12-month period, the greatest number of reported workplace accidents involved
- Overexertion (31.0 percent),
- Contact with objects (26.8 percent),
- Falls, slips, trips (26.0 percent),
- Transportation incidents (6.5 percent), and
- Violence (5.6 percent).
Simply rattling off the most common causes of accidents in the workplace does little to elucidate the types of injuries workers suffer and why those injuries occur. Fortunately, the workers’ comp report also includes the following information on which injuries workers in Ohio suffered, what happened to inflict injuries, and what the injuries were. Those lists look like this:
Types of Reportable Workplace Injuries in Ohio During 2016
- Sprains, strains, tears (41.6 percent).
- Fractures (10.5 percent),
- Cuts, lacerations (8.2 percent),
- Soreness and pain (8.0 percent), and
- Bruises and contusions (7.5 percent).
Sources of Injuries to Workers in Ohio During 2016
- Floors, walkways, ground surfaces (19.3 percent);
- Worker’s motion or position (13.6 percent);
- Containers (12.2 percent);
- Vehicles (11.7 percent); and
- Parts and materials (7.5 percent).
Sites of Injuries Suffered by Workers in Ohio During 2016
- Back (17.8 percent),
- Hands (13.6 percent).
- Head (8.1 percent),
- Shoulder (7.5 percent), and
- Knee (7.2 percent).
Putting that together produces a profile of the most common type of work-related injury in Ohio being something like a back strain caused by either overexertion or a fall to the ground. In all, 94,500 Ohio workers suffered injuries from accidents in the workplace during 2016, and around 37,000 of those individuals had to miss one or more days of work because of their injury.
But who gets injured at work? For that, it is worth turning to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics (BLS), which each year publishes a summary of national occupational injury and illness data.
Looking at reports from 2017, the BLS identified people in the following five occupations as being the most likely to miss days of work after becoming injured on the job.
- Police and sheriff’s patrol officers (highest number of missed days)
- Nursing assistants
- Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand
- Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
- Construction laborers
Rounding out the list of the frequently injured workers, but in no particular order, are janitors and cleaners (excluding maids and housekeepers), general maintenance and repair workers, retail salespersons, registered nurses, stock clerks and order fillers, and light truck or delivery drivers.
No matter what you do or how you get injured at work, if your workplace accident occurs in Ohio, a workers’ compensation attorney with Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman may be able to help. We offer free consultations on all short- and long-term injury cases, and we may even be able to assist a client with filing a personal injury claim in addition to an application for workers’ comp benefits.
Call us at (800) 678-3318 to schedule an appointment, or connect with us online.