Work-related injuries can take many forms. Whether employees are sitting at a desk or building on a construction site, there are injury risks associated with every job. In Alaska in 2017, more than 18,000 injuries were reported to the state Workers’ Compensation Division. Many of these injuries were caused by some common situations. Here, we take a look at the conditions that lead to the most on-the-job injuries suffered by Alaskan workers.
Causes of Work Injuries in Alaska
Workers’ compensation benefits are available for injuries that are suffered at work or are related to work. These benefits can provide medical care and, in cases in which employees are forced to miss work, wage replacement. In Alaska, these claims are most commonly due to:
- Transportation accidents. Transportation accidents are the leading cause of work-related death in Alaska and across the country. Whether you are hauling goods or driving to provide a service for your company, if you are involved in an accident on the road, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. Car accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries, from broken bones and lacerations to traumatic brain injury and paralysis.
- Slips, trips, and falls. More than 229,000 fall, slip, or trip injuries were reported in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics While a simple slip and fall may not seem like a serious injury, these accidents can cause severe and long-term problems. Falling to a lower level (such as off scaffolding or a ladder), falling on the same level, slipping, and tripping can cause muscle strain, broken bones, lacerations, head injury, and much more. Wet surfaces, uneven or unstable surfaces, cluttered work areas, and failure to adhere to safety standards are all major contributors to this type of work injury.
- Violence. Violence and other injuries by persons or animals were the second leading cause of injury to Alaskan workers in 2017, tied with slips, trips, and falls. Many of these cases occur in the healthcare field and among those who provide service to the community.
- Contact with objects. Contact with objects includes being struck by, compressed, crushed or struck against an object, including equipment. Virtually all job locations can be home to moving equipment, furniture, and supplies at one time or another. While this may not be at the forefront of every type of employee’s mind, contact-with-object injuries can result in life-changing injuries like amputation, loss of use, and more.
- Overexertion. Physical overexertion occurs when the body is pushed past its limit. It can include injuries such as sprains, strains, soreness, pain, and more. Often, these injuries are caused by repetitive motion or awkward posture. While these injuries are typically not fatal, they do result in more days away from work than any other type of injury and account for approximately 1/3 of work injuries across the country. Too often, workers ignore overexertion symptoms, fearing they would not warrant a workers’ compensation claim. However, these injuries can be difficult to address, especially if prolonged or severe.
What to Do If You’ve Suffered an Injury or Illness on the Job
If you’ve suffered a work-related injury due to one of these causes or another incident, you may be eligible for Alaska workers’ compensation benefits. Even if you aren’t sure of your rights, an experienced attorney can review your situation and help you determine how best to move forward. A work injury can cause stress on many aspects of your life and significantly affect your future, so it’s important to use all the tools you can for as complete a recovery as possible.
In Anchorage and across Alaska, attorney Ben Crittenden has helped many injured workers secure the medical care and compensation they deserve. Call the office today or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page to get in touch directly with Ben. He can answer your questions and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to help you learn more about your options.