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Overview of common sources of workplace injuries

Everything from a missing machine guard to a loose mat could cause accidents at an Illinois workplace. All staff members and managers should stay alert for common threats that are known sources of occupational injuries.

Wet floors, uneven floors and clutter are only a sampling of the issues that could make people slip, trip or fall. Injuries from these accidents represent the No. 1 source of workers' compensation claims. Slips and falls can leave people with broken bones, back injuries and deep cuts. Moving machine parts without sufficient guards can inflict even worse injuries, like severed fingers and crushed arms. The serious injuries and disabilities caused by unguarded machines might be avoided when employers ensure that all moving parts are adequately protected and operators receive comprehensive training.

Injuries and fatalities become even more catastrophic when fires and explosions hit workplaces. Problems like improperly stored combustible materials and bad gas lines cause these fiery accidents that produce severe burns, disfigurement and death. When fires and explosions happen, they have the highest rate of casualties compared to other accidents.

Workplace injuries can arise from subtle causes as well. Repetitive stress injuries and overexertion could happen when workplaces have demanding schedules, poor training and bad ergonomics. The wear and tear on tendons can lead to debilitating and long-term pain.

Although employers have workers' compensation insurance to pay for on-the-job injuries, a person's injury report might not be well received by an employer. If a worker experiences resistance to an injury claim, an attorney could take steps to secure benefits. Legal advice could help the worker find out about available coverage for health care and lost pay. An attorney could manage the paperwork for an insurance claim and prepare a lawsuit if necessary.

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