Every employer should make sure that they offer their employers a safe work environment and the necessary personal protection equipment. In reality, as any Miami workers’ compensation attorney knows, many workers suffer severe injuries while doing their job. The most severe causes of workplace injuries result in catastrophic, life-changing injuries or even death.
It is important to recognize the potential risks at your workplace and do your best to avoid an accident. However, there is always the chance that something goes wrong, despite your precautions and strict compliance with safety rules. If this is the case and you suffer injuries, a Miami workers’ compensation attorney will make sure that your claim is approved and you receive the benefits you deserve.
Florida Laws on Workplace Safety
Workers’ rights to enjoy a safe workplace are protected by Bill HB 5B – the Florida Occupational Safety and Health State Plan. The bill specifies clear obligations for employers, such as:
- Providing a safe workplace that does not present serious hazards
- Eliminate or reduce hazards by making feasible changes to workplace conditions
- Train workers in a language and vocabulary they understand
- Perform tests in the workplace, such as air sampling, according to some OSHA requirements.
Moreover, workers have specific rights related to workplace safety, including:
- The right to receive information and training about hazards, methods to prevent harm, and OSHA standards applicable to their workplace
- The right to receive copies of the results from tests and monitoring done at the workplace
- The right to get copies of their own workplace medical records
- The right to review records of work-related injuries and illnesses that occur at the workplace.
In reality, few workers exercise their rights. And some employers disregard their obligation to eliminate or reduce the risks of workplace injuries.
The Top Causes of Workplace Injuries According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
The following causes of workplace injuries, ranked based on the number of reported incidents, were published in a recent news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The findings were compiled from workplace accident reports from all over the US. However, looking at the caseload of any Miami workers’ compensation attorney in our law firm, these data are relevant for Florida, as well.
Thus, let us analyze the most common causes of workplace injuries.
1. Transportation Accidents
Truck drivers, couriers, postal workers, and delivery employees are at risk of suffering severe injuries in a traffic accident. The risk of catastrophic injuries is even higher for truck drivers who transport inflammable materials, such as:
- Crude oil
- Various fuels
- Gas canisters
- Chemical substances.
As any Miami workers’ compensation attorney knows, a claim resulting from this type of accident is frequently disputed by employers and their insurance companies. They will try to claim that you were not on the clock or using the company vehicle for personal purposes when you suffered the accident. However, an experienced lawyer will set the matters straight using all the pieces of evidence available.
2. Falls, Slips, and Trips
Anyone can suffer a severe slip and fall accident. This is one of the causes of workplace injuries that no one is safe from. It can happen to:
- Office workers
- Retail workers
- Construction workers
- Oil and gas industry workers
- Fishing industry workers
- Repair shop employees.
In many cases, the employer will try to blame you for your accident, claiming that you were distracted or negligent. According to workers’ compensation laws in Florida, you only have to prove that you were on the clock and doing your job duties when the accident occurred.
3. Contact with Objects and Equipment
Working with defective heavy machinery can lead to severe workplace injuries. In most cases, these accidents happen on construction sites, car repair shops, and various workshops. The causes of these injuries include:
- Being crushed under heavy machinery
- Equipment malfunctions.
Even if the cause of your injuries is quite obviously related to your job, the insurance company won’t accept your claim without trying to find ways to dismiss it. For this reason, you should hire an experienced Miami workers’ compensation attorney, no matter how certain you are that you have a solid case.
4. Exposure to Harmful Substances
In certain work environments, workers are exposed to dangerous materials and substances, including asbestos and various chemicals. Ideally, each worker should have the best protective equipment available on the market if they are handling or being exposed to these substances as part of their job.
In the case of these workplace injuries and conditions, it is very important to recognize the first signs of illness and get diagnosed by a doctor. There is a good chance your employer will try to argue that you waited too long to file a claim.
However, your legal obligation is to report an occupational disease within 30 days after you were diagnosed. Since these types of workplace injuries are the result of continuous exposure, it is unreasonable to expect someone to get diagnosed within a specific period of time.
5. Fires and Explosions
Fires and explosions can occur in various workplaces, from oil rigs to workshops using hydraulic or fuel-powered machines. They can occur in a motor vehicle accident when the fuel catches fire from a spark or the flammable cargo ignites.
These types of workplace injuries have devastating and long-term consequences. In many cases, a Miami workers’ compensation attorney was able to secure total permanent disability benefits for their injured clients.
Let a Skilled Miami Workers Comp Law Firm Win Your Benefits!
Our team of workers’ comp lawyers in Miami can help you secure the benefits you deserve until you heal. We will not let insurance companies diminish the severity of your injuries or waive their obligation to pay for your medical care costs and replacement wages.
However, since there are tight deadlines for reporting workplace injuries, we recommend you contact us as soon as possible. If we believe you have a valid case, we will assist you in filing all documents correctly and on time.
Call us now to schedule a free case review with a Miami workers’ compensation attorney!