At the Cottrell Law Office, our experienced Missouri workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping everyone in our community.
In this post, we will review the most common causes of work-related injuries in Missouri. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today for assistance with your case.
The Purpose of Missouri Workers Compensation Benefits
Missouri Workers Compensation benefits are intended to provide health care benefits to employees who are injured on the job, without having to resort to the courts.
Typically, if you suffer a personal injury as a result of your work on a job, you would sue your employer for compensation. However, if you are entitled to Workers Compensation benefits, you can be compensated for your injury or illness without having to go to court.
Statistics on Occupational Injuries and Illnesses in Missouri
Data on nonfatal occupational injury and illness are collected randomly from approximately 5,700 Missouri employers every year.
In 2017, there were a total of 50,600 nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in Missouri. Of those claims, 24,700 were more serious cases requiring work absences, job transfers, or workplace restrictions. That is an incidence rate of 2.8 percent, which was a statistically significant decrease from 2016. Workplace illnesses accounted for 2,600 (5.1 percent) of the total cases of injuries and illnesses in Missouri private industry in 2016.
The incidence rate of workplace illnesses was 13.1 percent in 2017, which was not a statistically significant decrease from the 2016 rate of 14.3.
Most Common Cases that Result in Lost Time at Work
The most serious nonfatal workplace injury and illness claims include lost time at work for the injured or ill employee. According to the data, there were 11,270 lost work time cases in Missouri in 2017. The incidence rate for these types of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses was 57.9 for private industry.
Also according to the 2017 surveys, 3,890 workers in private goods-producing industries had lost work time due to nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses.
Four Most Common Types of Workplace Injuries
Four characteristics typically used to describe the incident or accident that caused an occupational injury or illness are the nature or physical characteristics of the injury or illness, the part of the body affected, the source of the injury or illness, and the incident or exposure. Sprains, strains, and tears make up 37.4 percent of the nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses that resulted in days away from work in 2017 in private industry. Bruises and contusions accounted for 9.6 percent. The part of the body affected in 35.2 percent of all nonfatal in 2016 was upper extremities. However, lower extremities accounted for 25.6 percent.
Exposure to Dangerous Materials
Depending on your job, you may be required to work with hazardous substances. If that is the case, your employer has a duty to provide such employees with the proper safety equipment to limit harmful exposure to those hazardous materials. This is very important because prolonged exposure to certain hazardous materials, like asbestos, for example, can result in serious and life-threatening health conditions such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.
Defective or Unsafe Work Equipment
Injuries from using defective or unsafe work equipment is another common cause of workplace accidents in the United States. If a piece of equipment has not been repaired or maintained properly, or if it was designed or manufactured improperly initially, then injuries or accidents can result.
These types of injuries do not always involve heavy, complicated machines. Instead, a ladder can result in a fall and scaffolding may not be installed properly, resulting in accidents or injuries. These types of accidents often occur in warehouses, on construction sites and with assembly lines and mines. They often result in crush injuries, amputations, lacerations, and even death.
Non-Accident Related Workplace Injuries
Accidents and malfunctions are not the only sources of injury in the workplace. For some employees, depending on the nature of their jobs, suffer repetitive stress injuries. This is the result of continuous and prolonged use of the same set of muscles. Common examples of repetitive motion injuries in the workplace include carpal tunnel syndrome and bursitis.
Overexertion is another common workplace injury caused when employees pull, push, lift, carry, or toss objects for most of their workday. This physical exertion often results in serious back and shoulder injuries, sprained and torn muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Work-Related Motor Vehicle Accidents
If your job requires you to travel in a motor vehicle or operate a vehicle such as a forklift or a tractor, then you may be susceptible to injuries from motor vehicle accidents. If you are operating the vehicle for work-related reasons then your injury should be covered under Workers’ Compensation.
Contact a Missouri Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you have questions regarding workplace injuries or any other Workers’ Comp matters in Missouri, please reach out to the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. Send us an online message or call us toll-free at (800) 364-8305.