workers compensation claims
workers compensation claims

clock May 31, 2019

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7 of the Most Common Worker’s Compensation Claims and How to Avoid Them

In 2017 alone there were 2.8 million cases of common worker’s compensation claims. But what are the most common ways employees get hurt while on duty? And are any of these injuries preventable? 

We know that employee injuries can be daunting not only for the employee but for the company. A study found firefighter injuries cost upwards to $10,000 for back injuries. So what can you do to protect yourself, your company and staff? 

Give yourself the best chance at preventing the injury itself. To do this, you have to know the most common injuries. Read on to uncover the top 7 most common worker’s compensation claims and how to avoid them!   

1. Common Worker’s Compensation Claims Happen Because of Inexperience!

When a new employee comes on board, it’s easy to overlook them when the day gets busy. You get into your routine, and then you realize you forgot to check in with them. This isn’t a good practice, and it’s, in fact, dangerous! 

All new employees should have basic safety training. This is where they’ll learn to keep themselves safe. When an employee doesn’t know the right way to carry a ladder or bend, it can lead to injury.

Tell your employees always to practice safety, and back them up when they make a judgment call. Show your staff that safety is the number one priority to avoid any hefty, expensive or injuries later on. Communication is key for training new employees well, and avoiding injury! 

2. Lifting Objects That Are Too Heavy and Back Injuries

Back injuries are another common worker’s compensation claim among employees. When staff has to lift heavy boxes, you’ll want to invest in the right equipment. Having carts to move boxes can spare staff from back injuries. 

Yet sometimes you can’t avoid heavy lifting while on the job. Positions like firefighters or paramedics will always need enough manpower. If your company needs staff to do heavy lifting, offer back braces for support.

Also, be sure they know the proper way to lift heavy, bulky objects. Never pass up on having worker’s compensation insurance! With a little research, you can build the perfect policy for your company.    

3. Muscle Sprains from Overexertion 

Along with back injuries, muscle sprains are another common cause for employee claims. These injuries take a long time to heal, yet happen within seconds. To prevent these claims, you have to think about how the muscles in the bodywork. 

Doing repetitive movements for many hours, you’ll notice your body gets tight. Avoid muscle sprains by letting staff take breaks often to relieve the tension. Also, consider scheduling staff with a day off mid-week to give their bodies time to recover.

4. Tripping Claims: Why That Dusty, Yellow “Wet Floor” Is Important

Slips and falls are a huge common issue for staff in a variety of industries. Anyone in any industry can slip, trip, and fall while on duty. It’s important to practice basic safety techniques to avoid this. 

Let all staff know if there is going to be a bulky object [ex. power cord] on the floor. Put up your “wet floor” signs when it rains, and clean up spills ASAP! Pick up items that fall on the floor, or notify your staff of random objects on the floor. 

Again, communication is key for keeping everyone on the same page and safe. 

5. It’s a Bird; it’s a Plane, Nope It’s a 20-Pound Monkey Wrench Flying at My Face!

Well if not a 20-pound monkey wrench then a flying object, you get the gist. Flying objects striking staff is another common claim. Accidents happen and there little you can do to avoid this type of injury. 

Still, there are some precautions you can take. Make sure all equipment is secure if on a moving vehicle. Have routine checks for equipment, and maintain to all machinery regularly.

6. Catching “Z’s” on the Job: How Being Too Sleepy Can Cause Bigger Problems

Sleepiness is a common culprit behind machine-operator disasters. Think about truck drivers or forklift operators working while super sleepy. Your brain doesn’t work as fast, and your fine motor skills are not up-to-par. 

As a manager, you need to recognize the signs of fatigue in your staff. When you notice someone is dozing off, it’s time to send them home for a good night’s rest. Some signs to look out for are: 

  • Slurred speech
  • Incoherent or jumbled sentences  
  • Making more mistakes in a row
  • They complain of a headache
  • Slow body movements
  • They get angry easy
  • They’re making poor decisions all a sudden

Most employees will say they’re tired when they feel it as a part of natural conversation. As a manager, you need a keen eye to see when it becomes a problem. 

7. Food Service Injuries That’ll Put You out of Service

Burns are common in various industries, but did you think about food service staff right away? Food service personnel work around hot ovens day-in and day-out. This leaves plenty of opportunities for injuries to occur. 

Many of these employees have to take orders and stand on their feet all day. Fatigue and long hours plus hot ovens don’t mix well. Burn injuries are complex and can get worse well after the person gets hurt. 

For these incidents, be sure to document the injury and get them medical care ASAP. To avoid severe burns, send home staff that shows fatigue or is ill. Turn down ovens to a low temperature when not in use. 

Have a large sign that tells staff an oven is on and hot!  

Staying Safe and Having a Plan for the Future 

Knowing the most common worker’s compensation claims will help you prevent them. It’ll also help you plan on how to make your company safer for staff. Also, invest in worker’s compensation insurance for coverage. 

Accidents do happen, and it’s essential to have a backup plan when they appear. Any high-risk working environment should have insurance! Need to get in touch? 

Give us a call with questions or for a free quote. We aim to help keep you, your business and staff safe while on the clock. 

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