According to the Montana Occupational Injuries and Illnesses 2019 Report, Montana employees across all industries experienced 13,700 OSHA recordable nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses. This translates into an overall incidence rate of 3.9 injuries per 100 full-time workers. Industries with higher workplace incidence rates per 100 full-time workers include:

  • Arts, Entertainment, and Recreations—5.7 injuries per 100 full-time workers
  • Manufacturing—5.3 injuries per 100 full-time workers
  • Health Care and Social Assistance—5.1 injuries per 100 full-time workers

Industries with the lowest incidences of workplace injuries and illnesses were finance and insurance and professional, scientific, and technical services. While work-related injuries and fatalities have decreased over the years, there are still a significant number of workplace injuries and illnesses.

There are four common causes of work-related fatalities, often known as the “fatal four.” These include:

  1. Being struck by a moving vehicle or object
  2. Electrocutions
  3. Getting caught in or between tools, devices, or machines
  4. Slips, trips, and falls from a height

The five most common causes of workplace injuries include the following:

  1. Slips, trips, and falls (not from a height or a relatively low height like a stepladder), including:
    • Slipping on an oily or wet floor
    • Tripping due to poor lighting, clutter, lack of handrails on stairs, broken stair treads, uneven floor heights, torn carpeting, rugs that slip
    • A fall from a stepladder
    • Weather hazards like icy steps or walkways

Slips, trips, and falls account for about a third of all personal injuries in the workplace, causing head, back, and neck injuries, pulled muscles, sprains, cuts, and broken bones.

  1. Overexertion injuries are another common source of work-related injuries. A single event, repetitive motions, or holding a position over a prolonged period can all cause overexertion injuries. Some typical causes of overexertion injuries include:
    • Loading and unloading trucks
    • Typing on a keyboard
    • Using specific tools on a construction site
    • Standing on an assembly line
    • Moving patients from one place to another, particularly from a bed to a wheelchair and back
    • Sitting at a desk for long stretches
  1. Contact with objects and/or equipment is the third-leading cause of work-related injuries. In some cases, falling objects hit another person, such as a tool falling off scaffolding onto a construction worker’s head or body. Contact with objects can also include a falling wall crushing workers below it, a company vehicle pinning a worker between the car and another fixed object, or even a nurse getting stuck with a needle. Most “contact with an object” workplace injuries involve heavy equipment, usually in the construction, agriculture, or manufacturing industries.
  2. Vehicle accidents are another common source of workplace injuries. People who drive as part of their jobs are exposed to faulty automotive equipment, inclement weather, and negligent drivers, often leading to truck and car accidents. Workers who typically spend their days around moving vehicles also have a high risk of an accident with injuries. Workers could be hit by a car, truck, or heavy equipment like a forklift or tractor. Anyone who works around farm equipment—like tractors—or heavy machinery used in construction can suffer crushed body parts, severed fingers or toes, or even worse.
  3. Cuts and lacerations are another common workplace injury. Any type of worker can suffer cuts and lacerations. Construction tools are a common cause of cuts and lacerations. However, factory workers can also experience these injuries. Office workers can experience cuts from a paper cutter or paper shredder.

Other common workplace injuries include:

  • Fire and explosions from improperly stored combustible materials, open flames, or faulty gas lines.
  • Inhalation of toxic fumes can cause serious medical issues.
  • Hazardous chemicals can cause adverse skin and eye reactions and more severe injuries.
  • Loud noise exposure can lead to partial or complete industrial deafness.
  • Physical fights with co-workers are not as rare as you might think—and can lead to serious injuries.

Across the nation, more than 12,600 American workers are hurt daily while at work. This results in more than 100 million lost production days each year. Construction sites are undoubtedly dangerous places to work, but in reality, people across the spectrum of workplaces can get hurt while at work.

Once an accident happens, the injured worker may feel anxious and overwhelmed as they deal with their injuries and their inability to work and make a living for themselves and their families. If you’ve suffered an injury in a workplace accident, contact a Montana injury attorney as quickly as possible to ensure your future is protected.

Contact Our Helena Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or someone you love suffered an injury in an on-the-job accident in Montana, we can help. Let Doubek, Pyfer & Storrar obtain maximum compensation for you after a serious workplace accident.

To learn more about your legal options, you can fill out a contact form on our website, and we can contact you, or you can call us now at 406-442-7830 and get your immediate questions answered.