Imagine a scenario where an employee at a pickle manufacturing plant in California is placing jars of pickles into a case when one of the jars slips off the line and breaks. Not wanting to jam up the line, the employee promises that they will clean it up soon and continues to work. Unfortunately, another employee walks through the mess on the ground without seeing it, slips and hits their head. The employee is taken to the hospital for a head laceration and concussion and must take off work for at least one week to heal.
Manufacturing jobs are among the most dangerous
This type of scenario seems like it shouldn’t happen, but it regularly occurs in the manufacturing field. More than 114,000 employees are injured every year across the United States while working in a manufacturing position. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that these injuries cost an average of $42,000 in medical compensation per case.
Common workplace injuries in manufacturing
Most manufacturing injuries can be placed into one of five categories. These include:
- Contact with an object, 40%
- Overexertion, 24%
- Trips, slips and falls, 19%
- Repetitive motion, 8%
- Contact with harmful substances, 6%
Adhering to OSHA requirements, such as following lock-out and tag-out procedures, wearing non-slip shoes, keeping work areas clear from debris, cleaning up spills promptly and wearing proper protective gear can help keep employees safe. Employers should train workers to follow these procedures consistently.
How workers’ compensation can help
Should an accident occur, it’s important that an employee seek medical help and take time off of work for healing. Workers’ compensation is used to get employees the medical attention they need, and it helps provide income while they can’t work. Filing a workers’ compensation claim after an injury can be done through an employee’s human resource department or with a workers’ compensation lawyer.