Workers' compensation attorneys look at the news through our own lenses. When I see the continual news and debate about the recent Foxconn deal, which is supposed to bring thousands of new jobs to Wisconsin, I think about various types of workplace settings. At present, it's not clear whether the potential Foxconn jobs will be in manufacturing, research and development, or anything else. From my "work comp" viewpoint, I simply know that accidents can happen in any type of work environment-especially from someone's job duties over a period of time.
According to the National Safety Council, there's a workplace injury in the United States every seven seconds. Many of these can cost you valuable time at work, and the most common of these injuries are the strains and pains that result from overexertion.
Work in manufacturing? Follow the rules for health and safety
According to a report from the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, Wisconsinites in manufacturing jobs are more likely to suffer workplace injuries than workers in construction, healthcare, mining or transportation. The report also showed that manufacturing workers missed an average of seven days per incident, and it reviewed the most common causes:
- Overexertion - 2520
- Struck by object - 1820
- Falls, slips and trips - 860
- Exposure to harmful substances - 230
- Transportation - 90
While traumatic injuries (like collapsing scaffolds, explosions, and car accidents) obtain more publicity, a worker's job duties over a period of time can have the same, devastating impact. As that statistics show, overexertion (or occupational exposure) was the leading cause of manufacturing injuries. This includes the strains resulting from repetitive motions and lifting heavy objects. An occupational exposure claim is just as real-and compensable-as traumatic injury. If you do end up suffering a workplace injury through occupational exposure, an attorney can guide you through the complexities of the workers' comp system.
There's risk in every industry
While the manufacturing industry might lead to more workplace injuries than other Wisconsin industries, electronics manufacturing jobs are among the industry's least injury-prone. Occupational exposure injuries, however, still exist. Furthermore, even workers in office settings still get hurt through no fault of their own.
No matter where you work, there is always some sort of risk, which is why employers carry workers' comp insurance. And it's why you should be careful to look out for yourself, both by paying attention in the workplace and by knowing your rights when it comes to workplace injuries.