Brad Pistotnik Law
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What Types of Injuries Are Workers Suffering in the American Workplace?

What Types of Injuries Are Workers Suffering in the American Workplace?

What types of injuries are workers at greatest risk of suffering? What professions are at greatest risk of suffering a personal injury? A workplace is a dangerous place, and it doesn't take much to suffer a shoulder, abdominal, leg, or back injury. In the United States, nursing assistants, janitors, maintenance workers, truck drivers, and general laborers are at the greatest risk of suffering an injury resulting in days away from work.

Days Away From Work Stemming from Musculoskeletal Injuries in the United States

Data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that in 2016, a back injury was the cause of 38.5% of all days away from work injuries. This was followed by shoulder injuries at 14.9%, leg injuries at 11.5%, arm injuries at 5.1%, abdominal injuries at 5%, and multiple parts at 5.4%. Other injuries accounted for 19.7% of all days away from work injuries.

Percentage of Days Away From Work Injuries Reported by Profession

Back Injury

  • Nursing Assistants - 52.8%
  • Store Clerks - 45.7%
  • Laborers (Including Freight, Stock, and Material Handlers) - 43%
  • Maintenance Workers - 42.5%
  • Janitors 37.5%
  • Truck Drivers/Heavy Equipment Operators - 32.4%

Shoulder Injury

  • Truck Drivers/Heavy Equipment Operators - 19.2%
  • Stock Clerks - 16.5%
  • Janitors 16.2%
  • Laborers (Including Freight, Stock, and Material Handlers) - 14.8%
  • Nursing Assistants - 12.6%
  • Maintenance Workers - 11.4%

Leg Injury

  • Truck Drivers/Heavy Equipment Operators - 16.3%
  • Janitors - 13%
  • Maintenance Workers - 12.9%
  • Stock Clerks - 9.5%
  • Laborers (Including Freight, Stock, and Material Handlers) - 7.1%
  • Nursing Assistants - 5.9%

Arm Injury

  • Maintenance Workers - 6.5%
  • Truck Drivers/Heavy Equipment Operators - 5.1%
  • Janitors - 4.9%
  • Laborers (Including Freight, Stock, and Material Handlers) - 4.8%
  • Stock Clerks - 4.7%
  • Nursing Assistants - 3.1%

Abdominal Injuries

  • Laborers (Including Freight, Stock, and Material Handlers) - 6.5%
  • Maintenance Workers - 5.9%
  • Truck Drivers/Heavy Equipment Operators - 5.3%
  • Janitors - 4%
  • Stock Clerks - 4%
  • Nursing Assistants 1.8%

Causes of Musculoskeletal Injuries in the Workplace

Lifting, carrying, or setting objects down are the leading causes of musculoskeletal injuries. These activities can put significant strain on the muscles and bones. When repeated over and over, the repetitive motion increases the risk considerably. Other causes include exposure to vibrations, poor ergonomics, and an employer's failure to provide the proper safety equipment and training.

While an initial injury can result in severe pain, most acute injuries do not lead to chronic pain. However, if the injury recurs and the individual is exposed to the same stresses multiple times, it is not uncommon for the pain to become chronic. Even with surgical treatment and physical therapy, this pain can last for months and even years.

Back Injury in the Workplace

A Back injury is the most common singular event that workers file workers' compensation claims for. It is estimated that back injuries account for roughly 20% of all claims filed.

All workers can suffer a back injury. While many are caused by the lifting and handling of materials and inventory, office workers are not immune to the risk. Employees who spend their days seated at their desks or counters for a prolonged period can suffer aches and pains caused by disruptions to the spine's natural curve.

Contact Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. Brad Pistotnik is a workers' compensation attorney in Kansas. We represent injured workers pursuing workers' compensation claims for a back injury in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas. If you can't come to us, we will come to you. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.