On average, nearly 6,000 workers are killed on the job and another 5.7 million are injured every year in the United States. According to the most recent data, Texas has lead the nation in workplace fatalities for two years in a row with 524 deaths in 2014 and 508 deaths in 2013. While certain industries are significantly more dangerous than others, every workplace is vulnerable to accidents. The best way to protect yourself is to be aware of common workplace hazards.
The following workplace hazards are among the most common:
1. Chemical Exposure
Chemical hazards and toxic substances pose a variety of health risks regardless of the workplace. While some chemicals are safer than others, even common substances like cleaning products can lead to illness, skin irritation, or respiratory problems. Chemical exposure can come in the form of solids, fumes, liquids, vapors, gases, dust, and corrosives. Based on data from the CDC, the top five chemicals resulting in injuries are carbon monoxide, ammonia, chlorine, hydrochloric acid, and sulfuric acid.
There are between 70,000 and 80,000 fires in the workplace each year. Fires in the workplace result in more than 200 deaths and an additional 5,000 injuries annually in the United States. The majority of workplace fires are preventable with proper employee training. OSHA mandates that employers have adequate exits and unobstructed escape routes in the event of a fire. Employers can also reduce the risk of fire by developing fire prevention policies and communicating those plans to workers.
3. Repetitive Use Injuries
Repetitive use injuries are caused by repeating the same movement over and over again or maintaining the same position for extended periods of time. Injuries to the hand, wrist, forearm, shoulder, and back can result from certain ergonomic hazards, such as poorly designed workstations, improper posture, heavy lifting, and repetitive typing. One of the most common repetitive use injuries is carpel tunnel syndrome (CTS), which can cause tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain in your fingers and/or hands.
Each year, approximately 325 people die and another 4,000 are injured in electrical workplace accidents. Electrical hazards in the workplace can come from exposure to electricity, lightning strike, or arc flashes, which occur when an electrical current deviates from its intended path and travels through the air. Electrical injuries include electrocution, electric shock, burns, and falls. The most common factor in electrical injuries and fatalities is the failure to de-energize equipment before performing work on it.
Generally, falls are broken into two categories – falls at the same level and falls to a lower level. While any work-site is susceptible to fall hazards, the construction and maritime industries are at greater risk than others. In fact, falls to a lower level are the leading cause of death for construction workers. Hazardous conditions contributing to fall accidents are slippery surfaces, improper use of ladders, uneven or unstable walking surfaces, floor openings, poor housekeeping, and inadequate fall protection.
How a Texas Workplace Injury Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve been injured in a work-related accident due to the negligence of a third party, contact The Krist Law Firm, P.C. for help. The Houston work accident lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. have more than 40 years of collective experience representing victims of accidents in various industries. We can provide a comprehensive explanation of your legal options and help you fight for the maximum possible compensation in your case.
We offer a free consultation and charge no fees unless we obtain compensation for your injuries. Contact us today at (281) 283-8500 to schedule your appointment.