Oklahoma employers are responsible for the safety and health of employees. They must provide safe work environments that are free of known hazards. Yet, despite strict safety standards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that over 80% of nonfatal workplace injuries nationwide are made up of three preventable work-related accidents. These are bodily reactions to overexertion, falls caused by slips and trips, and struck-by or caught-in injuries caused by contact with equipment or objects.
Overexertion follows non-impact injuries caused by physical effort exerted to lift, push, turn, hold, carry and throw objects. Tasks that require repetitive motions also fall into this injury category. Slips and trips can cause injuries even if the worker does not fall but attempts to prevent the fall. Falls from heights without wearing a fall harness can cause catastrophic injuries, and neglected housekeeping can expose workers to wet and slippery walkways or debris and randomly placed objects that can cause slips, trips and falls.
Moving object injuries include stepping on, bumping into, or falling onto equipment or an object. Also, workers can be struck by a moving object or get caught, squeezed, crushed or compressed between moving and stationary equipment. Moving object injuries include vibration injuries caused by excessive exposure to the vibration of power tools.
Oklahoma workers might find comfort in knowing that the state-regulated workers’ compensation program will provide financial assistance to cover medical expenses and lost wages if they suffer workplace injuries. However, injured workers must report injuries to their employers as soon as possible. Many injured workers choose to seek the support and guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to navigate the claims process for them.