Though the total number of workers comp claims in Pennsylvania declined by over 16,000 in 2020 compared to 2019, the return to work after the pandemic has seen claim numbers on the rise once again. Accidents in the workplace tend to happen when you least expect them and can occur even to workers with many years on the job and extensive training. Workplace accidents may lead to significant or serious injuries that hamper your ability to return to work and support your family. At the same time, there may also be costly medical treatments for your injury. Thankfully, the majority of workplace accidents in Pennsylvania are covered by an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
It’s not uncommon for employers and/or insurance companies to try to minimize an employee’s claim, making it necessary for an injury victim to seek the legal advice of an attorney experienced in maximizing the benefits from a workers’ compensation claim.
It’s important to understand the impact workplace injuries have on the economy as well as on the individual and their families.
Common Types of Workers’ Compensation Claims
Though each state has its own unique workers’ compensation program, a study of major insurance providers for workers’ compensation programs revealed the five most common claims and their percentages. These are:
- Strains at 30.6%
- Contusions (significant bruises) at 20.83%
- Lacerations at 11.79%
- Sprains at 8.85%
- Puncture wounds at 5.50%
A workers’ compensation claim not only takes a toll on the individual worker and their family, but the high frequency of workplace accidents also has an overall economic impact in states like Pennsylvania. Preventable injuries in the workplace cost the economy an estimated $171 billion in 2019 due to lost wages, medical expenses, reduced productivity, equipment damage, and administrative costs.
Industries With the Highest Reported Workers’ Comp Claims
Workplace accidents have decreased over time due to safety regulations, improved safety methods, and more advanced equipment. However, 2.8 million injuries were reported in the U.S. in 2019 alone according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That equals nearly 4 injured workers out of every 100. The industries known to report the highest numbers of on-the-job injuries include:
- Food services
The Pittsburgh construction accident attorneys at Dallas W. Hartman P.C. know how frequently accidents can occur in the industry. Workplace accidents can happen in a variety of ways, including slip and falls, transportation and motor vehicle accidents, heavy machinery accidents, falling objects, toxic exposures, and even from workplace violence.
How Can Workplace Accidents Be Prevented?
There are many strategies that our experienced Pittsburgh workers’ compensation lawyers suggest to minimize the number of accidents in a workplace including wearing protective equipment, creating buffer zones between employees and any hazardous locations at job sites, rotating workers so they spend less time in hazardous jobs and thus avoid fatigue, and providing critical safety training.
Preventing injuries before they occur is the best way to reduce the need for workers’ compensation claims, but if you’ve been injured in the workplace, a Pittsburgh personal injury attorney with years of experience with workers’ comp claims can help you to better understand your rights and obligations as well as those of your employer.