Workers’ compensation, or more simply workers’ comp, is the system of financial support that is provided to workers who suffer an injury on the job to help them cope with medical bills and lost income. Workers’ compensation benefits can help workers in a wide range of different circumstances, ranging from relatively minor injuries that require only a few days’ recovery to those which can leave workers out of commission for significantly longer periods of time.
Almost any on-the-job injury, except for the most minor or the most unusual, will typically qualify an individual for workers’ compensation benefits. Nevertheless, most workers’ compensation benefits are paid out for a few common causes and types of injury. These include the following:
These are some of the most common forms of workplace injury resulting in workers’ compensation payments. However, many other workplace injuries may also render a worker eligible to receive compensation for their damages. It is important for workers to be aware of the specific regulations regarding workers’ compensation in the state in which they are employed in order to determine whether or not their injury will make them eligible for financial support.
In almost all occupations, workers face some type of risk as a result of their job. These risks can be relatively minor, as in the case of most white-collar occupations, or they can be more substantial, as they are in industries such as construction and law enforcement. However, in some instances, occupational hazards can be so serious that they cost workers their lives.
The most dangerous industry in America, in terms of total fatalities per year, has been construction for some time. In terms of most dangerous for each individual worker, industries such as commercial fishing and the lumber industry are among the most dangerous. However, the most common cause of fatal workplace injuries may come as a surprise to most people, simply because of how common the activity behind these types of accidents is.
Motor vehicle accidents, whether they involve collisions between two vehicles, single vehicle accidents, or pedestrians being struck by vehicles, are the single most common cause of deadly workplace injuries in the United States. In some ways, this is understandable: many jobs require operating vehicles for considerable amounts of time, and motor vehicle accidents are also a leading cause of preventable death outside of the workplace. Nevertheless, it serves as a reminder that some of the activities we take for granted as being relatively safe can actually be among the most dangerous.