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Which Types of Work-Related Injuries Cause the Most Absences from Work?

Posted by Emily Ruby | Dec 24, 2023 | 0 Comments

Serious work-related injuries have a significant impact on both employees and employers. They can result in pain and suffering for the affected individuals, medical expenses, and lost productivity for businesses. Among these injuries, some types cause more extended absences from work than others. In this article, we will delve into the various types of work-related injuries and identify which ones tend to result in the most prolonged work absences and why.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are some work injuries that cause the most absences from work:

Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) occur due to repeated motions or overuse of certain body parts, such as the wrists, hands, and shoulders. Common examples include carpal tunnel syndrome and rotator cuff injuries. Employees engaged in jobs that require frequent, repetitive movements are at a higher risk of developing RSIs.

The nature of these injuries is such that they tend to worsen over time if left unaddressed. Consequently, employees with RSIs may require extended periods away from work to recover. Treatments for these injuries often include physical therapy, ergonomic adjustments, and, in some cases, surgery. These treatments can result in prolonged work absences, impacting both the affected employees and their employers.

Serious Injuries from Accidents

Accidents in the workplace, such as falls from heights, slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents, machinery malfunctions, or chemical spills, can lead to severe injuries. These accidents often require immediate and extensive medical intervention, including surgeries and rehabilitation. Depending on the severity of the injury, the recovery process can be long and may require extended work absences.

Serious injuries from accidents can have a substantial impact on both injured employees and their employers. Employees may face physical and emotional trauma, while employers may need to manage workers' compensation claims, temporary staff replacements, and workplace safety improvements to prevent similar accidents in the future.

Burn Injuries

Work-related burn injuries, whether due to contact with hot surfaces, chemicals, or electrical accidents, can be particularly devastating. Severe burns often require extensive medical treatment, including surgeries, wound care, and rehabilitation. The recovery process can be lengthy and painful, and individuals with severe burns may need significant time off work to heal.

Burn injuries can result in prolonged absenteeism due to the severity of the injury, the physical and psychological trauma associated with burns, and the long-term rehabilitation required. These injuries can also lead to permanent scarring and disability, further affecting an individual's ability to return to their job.

Head Injuries

Head injuries can range from mild concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). They often occur in physically demanding jobs, construction sites, or due to slip and fall accidents. While mild head injuries may only require short-term absences, TBIs can have severe and long-lasting effects.

Brain injuries from an accident at work can lead to cognitive and physical impairments, which necessitate extended periods of recovery. In some cases, individuals with TBIs may not be able to return to their previous job at all, resulting in permanent disability and long-term work absences. The medical and rehabilitation needs associated with head injuries make them a significant cause of prolonged absenteeism.

Limb Injuries

Injuries to the limbs, such as arms and legs, are also common in the workplace. These injuries can be the result of accidents like slips, trips, and falls, or they can occur in jobs that require the use of heavy machinery. The severity of limb injuries can vary, with fractures, dislocations, and soft tissue injuries being the most common.

The duration of work absences due to limb injuries depends on the severity of the injury and the type of work an individual performs. Simple fractures may only require a few weeks of absence, while more complex fractures, surgeries, or rehabilitation can result in months away from work. Limb injuries can have a considerable impact on a person's ability to perform their job, leading to extended absences and sometimes even permanent disability.

Back Injuries

Back injuries at work are a common and significant concern. They often result from heavy lifting, improper ergonomics, or repetitive movements. These injuries can lead to excruciating pain, prolonged work absences, and even long-term disability. Preventive measures, including proper training, ergonomic adjustments, and the use of assistive equipment, are crucial to reduce the risk of back injuries. Early intervention and prompt medical attention are essential if an injury occurs to ensure a quicker and more complete recovery.

What to Do If You Are Injured at Work?

If you are injured on the job in California, you have legal rights. Here are some of the important steps to take if you have been injured at work:

Seek immediate medical attention. Your health and safety are the top priority. If the injury is severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. For less severe injuries, seek medical treatment as soon as possible, and make sure to inform the medical provider that your injury is work-related.

Report the injury. Notify your employer as soon as possible. California law requires you to report work-related injuries within 30 days. It would be in your best interest to report it as soon as it happens to avoid any disputes about the timing of the injury.

Complete a Workers' Compensation Claim Form. Your employer should provide you with a Workers' Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1) within one working day after learning about your injury. Fill out this form to officially report your injury. Make sure to keep a copy for your records.

File a claim. Your employer or their insurance carrier will be responsible for filing a workers' compensation claim with the Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC). You can check with your employer to ensure that this process is initiated.

Follow your doctor's orders. Attend all medical appointments, follow your doctor's recommendations for treatment and rehabilitation, and make a good faith effort to return to work if you're cleared to do so.

Document everything. Keep detailed records of all correspondence and interactions related to your injury, including medical appointments, conversations with your employer, and any dealings with the insurance company. These records can be crucial if disputes arise.

How an Experienced Work Injury Lawyer Can Help

An experienced California work injury lawyer can provide invaluable assistance by navigating the complexities of the workers' compensation system. At Greenberg and Ruby Injury Attorneys, APC our knowledgeable attorneys can help you understand your rights, assess the strength of your case, and ensure you receive the full range of benefits to which you are entitled.

We can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, ensuring you are not unfairly denied benefits. If disputes or appeals are necessary, we will provide skilled representation, increasing your chances of a successful outcome. We will also help you receive the medical care and financial support you need, alleviating unnecessary stress and helping you focus on your recovery. Call us today to schedule a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.

About the Author

Emily Ruby

2022 "Women in Law" Award Winner, Emily Ruby, specializes in complex cases, many of which involve catastrophic injuries and deaths. Mrs. Ruby has personally obtained more than $78.6 Million in compensation for her clients with an impressive 97.4% success rate and is a graduate of the prestigious CAALA Trial Academy. She was selected as one of Forbes' Best Wrongful Death Lawyers and is a writer for Advocate Magazine.

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