What You Need to Know About Common Workplace Accidents in California

Unfortunately, workplace accidents can be a common hazard depending on one’s occupation. Here are 10 common workplace accidents in California.

There were 422 fatal injuries on the job in California, an increase of 46 from the year before. California’s Department of Industrial Relations reported that there were 3.6 injuries per 100 full-time workers in 2019. Some of the more common injuries include lifting, falling, and lacerations.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 75% of all California workers who get injured on the job are employed in the private sector. The occupations with the highest number of work-related injuries include:

  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting,
  • Building equipment contractors,
  • Construction,
  • Education,
  • Food and beverage retail,
  • Health care,
  • Manufacturing,
  • Transportation and utilities, and
  • Waste management

California Labor Code §3700 requires every employer in the state of California to have workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of liability insurance where the employer assumes complete liability for all worker injuries. In the case of a workplace injury, employees/workers are likely covered.

Related: California Workers’ Compensation Laws

Common Workplace Accidents and Injuries in California

1. Lifting

Lifting injuries are one of the more common workplace injuries in California. This typically results from lifting incorrectly. Sometimes, a worker will avoid using a forklift, pallet jack, or even a ramp, resulting in an injury. Lifting injuries typically lead to shoulder, neck, and back injuries.

2. Falls from height

Falling from heights typically occurs in the construction industry. A worker may fall off ladders, roofs, scaffolding, platforms, stairways, and other raised or elevated surfaces.  These are usually the result of poorly built structures and/or improper safety equipment.

3. Slips and trips

Slipping and tripping is a common cause of workplace injury in California. It is usually a result of slippery surfaces, due to water or other liquids spilled on the floor of a workplace. It may also be due to scattered debris and cords, unstable walking surfaces, and poor lighting.

4. Repetitive motion

Repetitive motion injuries result from repeated motions performed in the course of normal work. The injuries sustained due to repetitive motion occur as a result of uninterrupted repetitions of an activity or motion, unnatural or awkward motions like twisting an arm or wrist, overexertion, incorrect posture, or muscle fatigue.

These types of injuries typically happen in the wrist, elbows, and shoulders, but sometimes in the neck, back, knees, feet, and legs as well. The injuries of repetitive motion may range from working on an assembly line or even typing at a computer.

5. Equipment/machine use

Equipment and machine use can lead to workplace accidents. These accidents typically occur when an employee is struck by a piece of equipment, when a worker is caught between a piece of equipment, or when a piece of equipment falls on a worker. They may also result from dropped tools, unstable loads, or flying debris. Equipment and machine injuries may lead to life-changing injuries, including permanent disabilities.

6. Laceration injury

Laceration injuries are common in all sorts of workplaces. Laceration injuries are when a worker gets cut, punctured, or scraped. They can affect ligaments, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, and bones. They can occur in schools, factories, warehouses, storage facilities, and many different fields.

7. Falling objects

Injuries from falling objects in the workplace are unfortunately common in California. They occur either because a worker is beneath scaffolding, cranes, or other overhead work. Falling, flying, rolling, or swinging objects may cause blunt-force trauma such as fractures, internal organ injuries, eye injuries, cuts, bruises, and head injuries.

8. Pushing and pulling (overexertion)

Workplace overexertion is an event or an exposure that leads to an injury due to excessive physical effort such as lifting, pulling, pushing, turning, welding, holding, carrying, or throwing.  These types of injuries commonly occur in factories, warehouses, construction industries, and shipping sites.

9. Electrocution

Electrocution injuries are also common in California. They may happen to workers who are around exposed wires and cords. They could also be the result of faulty electrical outlets, work around power lines, or from underground cables from when a worker digs. Electrical injuries typically occur on the hands and feet.

10. Back & neck injury

Back and neck injuries are one of the most common injuries in the workplace. They typically result from lifting heavy objects, overexertion, or bad posture. They occur from lifting, bending, and leaning forward. Sometimes the injuries are a result of poor working practices and conditions over time.

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If you have any more questions about common workplace accidents in California, contact us. We’ll get you in touch with the most qualified attorneys for your unique legal matter. Get your free consultation with one of our Work Injury Attorneys in California today!