Regular readers of our Wisconsin workers’ compensation law blog know that we recently published a post devoted to June’s designation as National Safety Month. With more and more employees returning to Wisconsin workplaces as restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic ease, the annual nod to safety couldn’t have arrived at a better time.
Driven to safety
The National Safety Council (NSC) reminds employers and employees alike that some of the most devastating on-the-job injuries are sustained in motor vehicle crashes by people who drive for a living (truckers, package delivery, school bus drivers, tow truck operator, etc.). For those who spend their workdays behind the wheel, it’s crucial to avoid the dangers of distracted driving.
The NSC says those who use phones while driving are four times as likely to be involved in crashes. The nonprofit organization points out that employers are being liable for employee crashes, even when hands-free devices were being used.
Few occupations have as many workplace hazards as those in the construction industry. Because summer is Milwaukee construction companies busiest time of year, it’s important to remember some of the most common causes of construction worker injuries:
- Falls: from roofs, ladders, cranes, scaffolding, etc.
- Falling objects: often involving tools or improperly secured building materials
- Trench or building collapses
- Equipment: workers struck by or caught in bulldozers, backhoes, forklifts, etc.
- Fires or explosions
Doing too much
Last but certainly not least among NSC’s concerns this month is the number one cause of work-related injuries: overexertion. The organization says on-the-job injuries caused by overexertion account for 25 percent of workers’ comp cases.
These injuries are often caused in work situations involving:
- Excessive lifting, pushing pulling, reaching or stretching
- Repetitive motion
- Sitting or standing for long periods
There are many other ways in which workers across a wide swath of industries can be hurt by overexertion. The NSC urges employers and employees alike to assess work-station ergonomics in order to minimize exposure to this most common type of on-the-job injury.