Any job someone might work comes with a degree of risk. A fry cook at a fast food restaurant might burn themselves, while a factory worker could suffer a severe laceration if they accidentally cut themselves.
When looking broadly at the injuries reported at people’s places of employment, there are three types of injuries that account for the vast majority of lost-time incidents on the job according to the National Safety Council.
Exposure to dangerous objects, environments and substances
The top category of workplace injuries has to do with toxic exposure or accidental contact with dangerous chemicals or equipment. For example, those in agricultural professions are at significant risk of life-altering injury or death when they operate heavy machinery like tractors.
In hospital settings, hypodermic needles and artificial external defibrillation systems are among the dangerous objects that could injure a medical professional through accidental contact. Environmental exposure might include heat issues in the summer. The actual injuries suffered depend on someone’s work environment and the item that they have accidental exposure to on the job and may range from burns and broken bones to death.
Overexertion and bodily reaction
Many people get hurt on the job because of the physical demands of their work tasks. Overexertion and bodily reaction injuries include back pain caused by heavy lifting, as well as sprains, strains and repetitive stress injuries from constantly gripping and lifting. Professionals ranging from truck drivers and nurses to those in manufacturing facilities may end up with overexertion or bodily reaction injuries that force them to take a leave of absence or move into a position with different job tasks.
Slips, trips and falls
No matter what kind of environment someone works in, they could easily slip and fall. Those that work at significant elevations, like welders on construction crews, may be at elevated risk of a fatal fall. However, even same-level falls cause brain injuries, soft tissue injuries and broken bones to workers in fields ranging from retail to medicine.
The good news for injured employees is that even if their own distraction or mistake led to an injury such as a fall or accidental contact with an object, workers’ compensation will generally still be available for them. Making a claim after getting hurt on the job may help someone secure treatment and replace their lost wages until they are able to fully return to work.