According to the National Safety Council, one person is injured at work every seven seconds in the U.S. That means that by the time you finish reading this post, about 18 Americans will have suffered a workplace injury. A work injury can happen in any profession, which is why all businesses must have workers compensation insurance. Of course, some injuries are more common in certain professions than others. There are very few librarians, for example, who file workers comp claims for injuries resulting from inhalation of coal dust. However, the most common reasons for workers comp claims are injuries that you could sustain in almost any workplace.
Top 5 Most Common Reasons for Workers Comp Claims
When you think of workers comp, you may think of catastrophic injuries that require complicated medical treatments and years of recovery. In reality, although severe injuries are undoubtedly the most costly, they are also rare among workers comp claims. The most common personal injuries that result in workers compensation claims include:
- Sprained or strained muscles. Improper lifting techniques or lack of proper equipment can mean a pulled muscle that stays sore and unusable for weeks. These injuries make up more than 30 percent of all workers comp claims, and more than 40 percent for retail and manufacturing workers.
- Most people wouldn’t file a workers comp claim for a minor cut, but anything deep enough to send you to the emergency room for a couple of stitches will require a workers comp claim. Cuts make up almost 20 percent of all claims, but are the most common injury for small business workers.
- These include bruises, mild concussions and other injuries that result from an impact of some kind. Depending on your job, a bad bruise can keep you from working for a few days and a concussion should keep you at home for at least half a week.
- Not as flashy as cuts and bruises, inflammation is typically part of a workers comp claim when it results from a repetitive motion injury. These kinds of workplace injuries build up over time, and are common in offices and manufacturing. Although inflammation only accounts for five percent of all workers comp claims, it often keeps people away from work for the longest.
- Broken bones can be extremely painful, and will likely keep you from your job no matter what you do. Fractures most commonly result from falls, and are common in all lines of work.
Most of these injuries are entirely preventable when the proper safety procedures are followed. Other reasons for workers comp claims include eye injuries (which is the most common injury for manufacturing workers) and car crash injuries (which are among the most common injuries only for workers in the gas and oil industries).