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Top Workplace Injuries in Washington State

Posted by Christine Foster on March 18, 2015

Are you at risk for a work injury?

Workplace injuries unfortunately happen all too frequently and can leave those hurt with permanent disabilities making it difficult to earn a living. Whether you are a construction worker, a truck driver, a cook or a businessperson, you are still at risk for a severe work injury. If you or someone close to you has been hurt on-the-job due to a work-related injury, it is important to understand what your rights and options are.

The Most Common Workplace Injuries

According to the Washington Department of Labor & Industries, 90 percent of on-the-job injuries that resulted in payments to the injured employee came from these seven most common workplace injuries.

  • Musculoskeletal injuries of upper body (back, neck and arms) – are a group of painful disorders of muscles, tendons, and nerves. Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, thoracic outlet syndrome, and tension neck syndrome are just a few examples. These work injuries are defined as a result from repetitive lifting, squatting, kneeling or constant vibration. These types of injuries make up 41 percent of all workplace injuries in Washington State.
  • Struck by or against – is an injury resulting from being struck by, hit or crushed by a human, animal, or inanimate object or force other than a vehicle. These work injuries make up 17 percent of all workplace injuries in Washington State.
  • Fall on same level – is a slip, trip, or a fall in which the worker impacts either the surface or an object at the same level or above the surface on which he/she is standing. These specific injuries make up 11 percent of all workplace injuries in Washington State.
  • Falls from elevation – include falls from objects such as scaffolding, ladders, walkways, stairs, roofs and vehicles.  A ‘Fall from Elevation' worker injury results from falling from an elevated work surface to a lower level and accounts for 9 percent of all work-related injuries in Washington State.
  • Overexertionis an injury that occurs when a person works beyond his or her physical capacity or, more specifically, when the physical forces required to perform a task exceed the tolerances of the body.

Overexertion injuries generally fall into two categories – sprains (stretching or tearing ligaments) and strains (stretching or tearing tendons or muscles). These types of injuries have been associated with lifting, repeated bending at the waist with twisting, long term bending at the waist, pushing/pulling, carrying, reaching, long-term awkward posture (either sitting or standing) and sitting while absorbing vibration through the body (for example, while driving a truck). These injuries make up 5 percent of all workplace injuries in Washington State.

  • Caught in, under or between – are injuries resulting from a person being squeezed, caught, crushed, pinched, or compressed between two or more objects, or between parts of an object. This includes individuals who get caught or crushed in operating equipment, between other mashing objects, between a moving and stationary object, or between two or more moving objects. These specific injuries make up 3 percent of all workplace injuries in Washington State.
  • Motor vehicle –  injuries may be caused by reckless drivers or by equipment malfunctions in all types of work-related vehicles. These specific injuries make up 3 percent of all workplace injuries in Washington State.

What to Do After a Serious Workplace Injury Occurs

The first step after suffering a work injury is to seek medical treatment and file a claim with Washington State Labor and Industries (L&I). Worker's Compensation should cover doctors' visits, hospital visits, treatment, medication and follow-up care. If the injury is serious you may need to pursue a significant worker's compensation settlement with an experienced work injury law firm.

Workplace accidents account for many disabling injuries that impact those hurt long after the injury first occurred. Debilitating pain, loss of body functionality, sleep disorders, stress disorders, headaches and other physical ailments may follow. Recovering from a severe work injury can involve months or even years of therapy and medical rehabilitation, not to mention time at work missed and even the possibility of not being able to return to work. In cases like this, it is critical to your financial future to know your rights.

If you have experienced a debilitating work injury and are not able to work you may need to seek compensation for wages and time lost. The only way to protect yourself and know if you are owed damages is to speak with a law firm that specializes in work injury cases.

Get Help with Your Workers' Compensation Claim in Seattle

If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness and are seeking workers' compensation benefits, please contact Foster Law, PC to schedule a free initial consultation. We are attorneys in Seattle, Washington with specific expertise in workers' compensation law and can help ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve. Call 206-682-3436 or fill out our online contact form for more information.

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