The Barnes Firm

workplace injury

The 4 Most Common Causes of Workplace Injuries

Every year, about 2.9 million people in the United States sustain workplace injuries.

If you’ve never sustained an injury at work, it’s easy to think you’re safe. After all, of the 150 million people that are part of the American workforce, only 2.3 million get injured.

Sure, the odds of sustaining a workplace injury are slim, but the threat is ever-present. And depending on the nature of your job in San Diego, you could be facing greater risk. The Barnes Firm attorneys want California employers and employees to be aware of the most common causes of workplace injuries in San Diego:

Fatigue

Fatigue is when you feel tired physically, mentally, or both.

For most workers, being fatigued is simply part of the job, and they have learned to live with it. Unfortunately, fatigue is a leading cause of workplace injuries in San Diego, and here is why.

When you’re fatigued, you have a reduced ability to respond effectively in emergency situations. Slower reflexes could mean the difference between sustaining an injury and escaping one. If you drive motor vehicles or operate heavy machinery, physical and mental exhaustion can lead to fatal injuries.

To combat workplace fatigue, have enough sleep and don’t push yourself beyond your limits.

Trips, Slips, and Falls

This has probably happened to you: that moment when you accidentally trip over the stairs, slip on a wet floor or fall off a chair, or worse, an elevated surface.

If you got out of any of these situations unscathed, count your blessings! Trips, slips, and falls are responsible for 15 percent of all accidental deaths every year, and 25 percent of all reported injuries.

As a worker, you might not have complete control over these risks (you cannot avoid working at heights if you’re a builder, for instance), but there are measures you can take to reduce the risk.

If your job requires you to wear protective gear such as hard hats, always gear up. Avoid wet floors and beware of your surroundings.

Workplace Violence

Workplaces are professional and civil environments but unfortunately, where there is human interaction there can be violence.

People disagree all the time, and sometimes disagreements can turn physical. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, about 2 million Americans are victims of workplace violence annually.

Workplace violence can be unavoidable when you get caught in the crossfire of fighting colleagues, but, as an individual, try as much as you can to stay safe. Avoid workplace confrontations and get out of heated exchanges before they turn violent.

Hazardous Materials Cause Workplace Injury

Hazardous materials are always a threat for people who work with chemicals and other potentially toxic elements. A lab technician, for instance, can sustain serious burns if the skin comes into contact with strongly alkaline or acidic substances.

Wearing gloves and other pieces of protective wear, and handling hazardous materials as recommended by the manufacturer will go a long way in keeping you injury-free.

What If You’re Injured?

No matter what you do to stay safe at work, the risk of workplace injury in San Diego is always there. What next after you’re injured?

If you’re able to, gather as much evidence of the accident as possible, report to your employer and seek medication. Next, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in San Diego to take you through the process of filing a compensation claim.

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