Workplace accidents can happen in any job. However, there are certain occupations that are more dangerous to employees than others, even when employers are careful to abide by all safety rules and regulations. Fortunately, those who are injured at work can collect compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages through the state’s workers’ compensation program.

The Construction Industry

According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), there were 4,379 worker fatalities in private industry during 2015. Of those deaths, 937 were in construction. The leading causes of worker fatalities in the construction industry were:

  • Falls from roofs or scaffolding;
  • Being struck by an object, including lumber and equipment;
  • Electrocution; and
  • Being caught or compressed by equipment or objects, and struck, caught, or crushed in collapsing structures, equipment, or material.

In fact, it is estimated that these four causes were responsible for around 65 percent of construction worker deaths in 2015.

The Logging Industry

Logging workers, who harvest, cut, and transport timber to be processed into lumber, paper, and other products are also at-risk of suffering an injury on the job. This is largely due to the fact that they perform strenuous labor in hostile environments. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), loggers are most often injured as a result of the following accidents:

  • Being struck by a falling tree, which accounts for around 63 percent of fatalities;
  • Problems with tools and equipment, with most injuries occurring as a result of the misuse of chainsaws and heavy machinery; and
  • Being struck by a log or limb, which accounts for 22 percent of logging-related deaths.

Injuries sustained by employees of the logging industry tend to be especially serious and in many cases, life-threatening.

The Fishing Industry

Being a commercial fisherman is one of the most dangerous jobs in America and many fishermen suffer injuries in one of only a few types of accidents, including:

  • Vessel disasters, from being struck by large waves, flooding, and ship instability;
  • Falling overboard;
  • On-board injury; and
  • On-shore injuries and diving, which usually occur when unloading on the dock.

Some of the most common injuries suffered by fishermen include injuries to the upper extremities and are sustained as a result of hauling fishing gear. However, a significant number of injuries also occurred while workers were using winches, ropes, or wires. A further 30 percent of injuries were caused by slips and falls, whether on-board or on the docks.

Transportation Industry

Although transportation and material moving occupations recorded fewer fatal injuries overall in 2015 than in previous years, accidents in this industry still accounted for over one-fourth of all fatal work injuries. For instance, heavy truck drivers incurred 745 fatal workplace injuries, many of which occurred during collisions, although a significant number also occurred as a result of lifting heavy objects. Other injured employees in the transportation industry included aircraft workers, including pilots and grounds crew members.

Warehouse Occupations

Warehouse workers are also at an increased risk of suffering from back, neck, and shoulder injuries as a result of heavy lifting, which requires bending, twisting, and repeatedly performing similar movements. For this reason, warehouse employees are more likely to suffer from the following injuries:

  • Muscle tears and strains from lifting loads improperly;
  • Broken bones from slipping and falling, being crushed by stacked materials, or being struck by heavy machinery, such as a forklift;
  • Cuts and bruises caused by falling materials;
  • Spinal cord injuries caused by falls or being crushed; and
  • Traumatic brain injury from being struck on the head by falling cargo.

Although there are a number of both state and federal regulations in place that aim to protect warehouse workers, accidents can and do happen, making it especially important for those individuals to seek the aid of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

Call Us Today to Speak With an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Workplace injuries occur at an alarming rate, even when an employer institutes all of the appropriate safety protocols. Fortunately, injured parties have access to the state’s workers’ compensation program, which compensates employees for injuries they sustain on the job as well as for lost wages they incur. However, the workers’ compensation program can be complicated and filing a claim can be time-consuming and confusing, so if you or a loved one were recently injured in the workplace, please contact the Joye Law Firm by calling (888) 324-3100 to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at either our North Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Clinton, or Columbia offices.

About the Author

Ken Harrell joined Joye Law Firm in 1994, and has been the managing partner since 2006. With 30 years of experience, he protects the rights of injured South Carolinians, including cases involving workers’ compensation, car accidents, and defective products. Ken also leads the firm’s referral practice, helping to ensure that our clients receive the best possible representation. He is a past president of South Carolina Injured Workers’ Advocates, and has served as the co-chairman of this organization’s legislative affairs committee for 12 years.

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