When discussing unsafe work environments, it’s common to think about factors like toxic exposure, dangerous machinery, and other industrial aspects. However, an "unsafe work environment" can also include any condition that increases risk of injury through more simple dangers.
For instance, violations may include situations where an employee is subject to unsafe work conditions that cause them to overexert themselves. Thus, a violation can occur if an employer knows about a dangerous condition or practice and yet fails to correct it.
Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that workplace injuries are due to many different causes, which are listed below.
Causes of Non-Fatal Injuries
- MSD (musculoskeletal disorder- i.e., strains, sprains, etc.) 37.8 incidents per 10,000 workers
- Falls, slips or trips: 16.8 per 10,000 workers
- Contact with objects or equipment: 25.5 per 10,000 workers
- Overexerting one’s self while lifting/lowering: 12.4 incidents/10,000 workers
- Injuries from fire or explosion: 0.2 incidents/10,000 workers
- Exposure to harmful substances: 5.0 incidents for every 10,000 workers
Fatal Injuries in 2012
- Total fatalities recorded in 2012 was 4383
- Fatalities due to transportation or roadway causes: 1789
- Violence-related fatalities: 767
- Deaths due to contact with objects/equipment 712
- Death due to falls/slips/trips 668
- Fatalities based on exposure to substances 320
- Fire/explosion fatalities: 116
Filing an OSHA claim
When it comes to injuries caused by dangerous work conditions, the employee will most likely have to file a claim with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). This will initiate an investigation into the matter. If the investigation does not provide an adequate remedy, the employee may need to file a lawsuit for damages. You may wish to hire a personal injury lawyer if you need help filing a claim or a lawsuit. Your attorney can provide advice and representation on the matter.