Arkansas is home to many business and industries – which means millions of potential workers who could be injured on the job. The Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission (AWCC) is responsible for handling applications and requirements for workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer’s workers’ compensation plan may ultimately pay you benefits, but everything goes through the State first. This means that they have excellent statistics on some of the most common workplace injuries.
Common Workplace Injuries
Fayetteville workers’ compensation lawyer Ken Kieklak has assembled the AWCC’s most common workers’ comp. injuries for 2016 (the most recent year available), and arrived at the top 10 most common workplace injuries in Arkansas. If you received one of these injuries at work, talk to an attorney today to see how you may be eligible for workers’ compensation.
10. Lower Leg Injuries
In 2016, there were 170 lower leg injuries reported to the AWCC. Working with heavy machinery and other equipment with moving parts can easily lead to leg injuries. If your pant leg gets caught, you could end up having your leg pulled into a machine, suffering crushing, cutting, or amputation injuries. Your leg could also be crushed or pinned by vehicles or construction materials.
9. Wrist Injuries
Wrist injuries are extremely common in multiple industries. Workers’ compensation may be available for office workers with repetitive stress injuries from typing, truck drivers with repetitive stress injuries from holding the steering wheel, or other workers who suffer injuries during a fall, heavy lifting, or in a mechanical accident. In 2016, the AWCC received 173 cases of wrist injuries, just beating the number of lower leg injuries.
8. Hand Injuries
Like your wrists, your hands are a delicate system of bones, vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries. On top of this, your hands are often the closest items to moving parts of machines and power tools. Construction workers, machinists, and others who put their hands near moving parts are always at risk for debilitating or permanent injuries from broken bones, deep cuts, or amputation. There were 213 reports of work-related hand injuries in 2016.
7. Foot Injuries
There were 229 reported foot injuries at work in Arkansas in 2016. These could come from a variety of causes. First, heavy machinery and moving parts are always dangerous to work around. If your shoelaces get caught, your whole foot could be pulled into the machine. Foot injuries could also come from the repeated stress of walking or running, or from simple injuries like dropping a heavy object on your foot or getting it run over by a vehicle.
6. Ankle Injuries
Carrying and lifting is one of the greatest causes of injury for Americans. The risk of twisting or spraining an ankle can be severely increased while carrying a heavy object. You might be unable to see, and misstep, causing severe injury. Again, there is also potential risk from moving machinery and vehicles. The AWCC recorded 272 ankle injuries in 2016.
5. Finger Injuries
If you work with power tools or heavy machinery, keeping all of your fingers attached could be a real day-to-day concern. With 392 finger injuries severe enough to report to workers’ compensation, we can see that the risk of losing or injuring a finger is serious. Especially for people who rely on their hands and dexterity for work, injuring or losing a finger can mean months of recovery or an inability to return to work.
4. Shoulder Injuries
Lifting and carrying can also cause shoulder injuries. Whether injuries are caused by improper technique or simple repetitive stress, shoulder injuries from carrying and lifting can be instantaneous or grow over time. Strains and rotator cuff injuries are common shoulder injuries. In some cases, falling or pushing your body too hard could even mean dislocating your shoulder. 616 people in Arkansas submitted workers’ comp claims in 2016 based on their shoulder injuries.
3. Low Back Injuries
About 20% of all workplace injuries across the country are back injuries. In Arkansas in 2016, the 700 low back injuries accounted for 11.7% of all injuries, which is still a huge portion of the total workplace injuries. Injuries to your lumbar and sacral spine can have serious long-term effects. It can be impossible to get comfortable or relieve the pain for some injuries. Treatment may require extensive rehabilitation, back braces, chiropractic appointments, surgery, or long-term painkiller prescriptions.
2. Knee Injuries
Physical labor is often tough on the knees. Walking, lifting, carrying, kneeling, and climbing all put strain on your joints. After years of work, or after taking a bad slip or fall, your knees could face serious injury. In 2016, there were 714 knee injury claims made to the AWCC.
1. Multiple Body Part Injuries
Many injuries are not focused to one body part or one area. Especially for on the job vehicle accidents, falls, fires, or illness, you could face injuries and complications in multiple body parts and body systems. Prolonged exposure to fumes, chemicals, and hazardous materials may cause cancer and other illness. These affect the whole body, and are likely included in the 871 multiple body part injuries reported to the AWCC in 2016.
Arkansas Workplace Injury Attorney
If you suffered a severe injury at work, talk to Fayetteville workplace injury attorney Ken Kieklak. Ken may be able to help you apply to Arkansas’ workers’ compensation system. This can help you get the medical care you need, and help you maintain wages if you are unable to work. Call (479) 439-1843 today for a free consultation on your work-related injury case.