Common Workplace Injuries
Most Common Workplace Injuries in Arizona
We like to think that the modern workplace in Arizona is safe for workers. Most of the time that is true, but not always: according to labor statistics covering the most common workplace injuries, every year in Arizona about 50,000 workers in private industry suffer some kind of workplace injury or illness, almost three percent of the private sector workforce.
If you have been injured while on the job, call the Matt Fendon Law Group toll-free at (800) 229-3880, or reach out to us online to see if you are entitled to workers compensation benefits. Arizona workers compensation laws protect workers who suffer from a common workplace injury by providing coverage for medical expenses and lost wages.
At the Matt Fendon Law Group, we hope you never have to learn from experience about how workplace accidents, occupational injuries, and job-related illnesses can happen. But if you have suffered a work-related injury or other harm, our workers compensation claim lawyers can help you to understand how workers compensation works and how to file your claim for workers compensation benefits.
Common Causes of Work Injuries
Injuries at work can happen in so many ways that we cannot list them all. Still, in our experience we have often seen the following causes for why workers get hurt on the job. The most common workplace injuries in Arizona we see include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Construction industry site accidents
- Construction equipment accidents
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Poor lighting
- Wet or oily surfaces
- Uneven surfaces
- Physical tasks like lifting heavy objects
- Crush injuries
- Moving machinery accidents
- Repetitive strain
- Hazardous materials
- Falling objects
- Repetitive work
- Workplace violence
Kinds of Occupational Injuries We Often See
There are many ways workplace accidents can result in injury. Some, though, happen more often than others. We examine some of the most common kinds of workplace injuries below.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
You can suffer a brain injury when you hit your head at work. Slips, trips, and falls are frequently reported as the cause of a brain injury. You can fall off a ladder, trip on uneven walking surfaces, get hit by a piece of equipment, get into a vehicle-related accident, or be assaulted by a coworker or a trespasser while you are on the job. Flying objects and larger objects falling on workers also account for many severe injuries occurring in the workplace.
No matter the cause, the common injuries connected with traumatic brain injury include:
- Skull fractures
- Contusions (bruising of the brain)
- Hematomas (blood clotting on the brain)
- Brain hemorrhaging (bleeding inside the brain)
Your brain is the most important of your body organs. Your brain controls all of your body’s functions. Injuries to the brain can affect your quality of life in important ways, including your ability to hold a job.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Depending on the nature and severity of the trauma, brain injuries can display mild or severe symptoms.
Mild symptoms include:
- Confusion or disorientation
- Memory loss
- Speech difficulties
- Loss of taste or smell
- Blurred or double vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Light sensitivity
- Temporary loss of consciousness
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury symptoms include:
- Persistent headaches
- Loss of motor skills
- Speech disorders
- Loss of consciousness
- Numbness in the limbs
- Anxiety, depression, or suicidal though
Spinal Cord Injuries
Work-related spinal cord injuries can result from events like falls or car accidents. Spinal cord injuries are as serious as brain injuries when it comes to the potential to affect your ability to work or engage in life activities. Treatment of spinal cord injuries can require surgery, rehabilitative therapy, and long-term care, which can lead to expensive medical bills.
Spinal cord injuries come in two kinds: incomplete injuries, which involve partial loss of motor or sensory function below the point of the injury, and complete injuries, which result in a total loss of movement and peeling below the point of injury.
Depending on where the injury occurs, paraplegia or quadriplegia (tetraplegia) can result.
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
Aside from partial or total loss of motor and sensory functions below the point of injury, spinal cord injuries can have the following effects:
- Muscular spasms
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Painful or stinging sensations
- Difficulty breathing
- Changes in sexual function, sensitivity, and fertility
Fractures and Broken Bones
Bone fractures and breaks come in many varieties: avulsions, greenstick, hairline, impacted, spiral, impacted, comminuted, and more. Broken and fractured bones are frequently painful, and accompanied by swelling and bruising, which means that they can restrict movement to the point of being debilitating. Surgery is often needed to fix fractured and broken bones, and the recovery period can last for weeks or months during which employment activities can be limited if it is possible to work at all.
Symptoms of Bone Injuries
Broken and fractured bones can show the following signs and symptoms in addition to pain, swelling, and bruising:
- Sensitivity to weight or pressure on the injured area
- Protrusion of the affected area
- Inability to move the affected area
- Bleeding (for breaks or open fractures)
Rotator Cuff Injuries
Your rotator cuff describes the muscles and tendons surrounding your shoulder joints. Rotator cuff injuries are a common workplace injury. The more your job requires you to perform tasks like overhead lifting and reaching. Unlike some other frequent kinds of workplace injuries, a rotator cuff injury usually develops slowly over time instead of coming from a single injury event.
Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injuries
Symptoms of torn rotator cuffs can include:
- Pain when resting your arm
- Pain when lifting or lowering your arm
- Popping sounds when moving your shoulder
- Weakness in the arm
Back Injuries and Herniated Discs
Work-related overexertion injuries, like a back injury, can result from lifting heavy objects, falls, or equipment or vehicle accidents. They can be relatively minor, like a pulled muscle, or severe in ways that can make it hard or impossible for you to work.
Back injuries can involve more than muscle tissue. Your vertebrae, spinal column, muscles, ligaments, and even some of your internal organs can be affected by a back injury.
Herniated discs happen when the soft center of one of your spinal discs pushes through a crack in the tougher exterior casing. Sometimes herniated disc injuries cause no symptoms, but they can irritate nerve endings, causing severe pain or numbness or weakness in the affected arm or leg.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Similar to many rotator cuff injuries, repetitive motion injuries occur over time. A common work-related repetitive motion injury is carpal tunnel syndrome, which results from overusing your hands or wrists.
Exposure to Toxic Substances
In some jobs you can face potential contact with hazardous chemicals or other materials. If this happens, your injuries can include burns, rashes, and respiratory system problems like throat or lung injuries. In the most serious cases, exposure to toxic materials can lead to lasting physical harm, like neurological damage, cancer, blindness, organ damage and disfigurement.
Types of Permanent Work-Related Injuries
Arizona workers compensation pays benefits for two kinds of work injuries: scheduled injuries and unscheduled ones.
Scheduled injury compensation is based on specific body parts, percentages of your average monthly income. Arizona workers compensation laws set out the amounts to be paid for these work-related injuries. If you have a scheduled injury, then you may also be eligible to receive vocational training from the state of Arizona you cannot continue in your previous job.
Unscheduled work injuries are a combination of impairments to various body parts that are injured in one event. Unlike scheduled injuries, the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) determines the amount of compensation you can receive for an unscheduled injury. Unscheduled injuries must be reaffirmed each year.
Talk to a Workplace Injury Lawyer in Arizona Today
At the Matt Fendon Law Group, our Arizona workers’ compensation attorneys fight for the workers compensation benefits and compensation you need to pay medical bills and replace lost earnings after an injury at work. If you are denied benefits for an occupational injury, our attorneys work hard to see that the decision is overturned.
If you were injured in a workplace accident in Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tucson, Prescott Valley, or anywhere else in Arizona, call the Matt Fendon Law Group toll-free at (800) 229-3880, or reach out to us online. We will schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss how our workplace injury lawyer can help you.