Compensation for Workplace Injuries
They are known as workplace injuries – injuries that happen in the workplace exclusively. Common workplace injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive use of a mouse and keyboard, back strain from sitting too long, injuries to ligaments, spinal discs, joints, cartilage, and tendinitis that results from repetitive movements.
If you think there is some sort of federal registry that keeps track of workplace injuries you’d be wrong. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) collects information on injuries that result from dangerous machinery, for example, but OSHA does not collect any information on musculoskeletal disorders also known as MSDs that come from repetitive movements, also known as ergonomics injuries.
On the Job Injury Statistics
OSHA estimates that MSDs make up about 29 percent of illnesses on the job that result in days away from work.
At the present time, OSHA classifies these under one generic – “all other illnesses” category. Without accurate information on injuries occurring in the workplace, it is impossible to alter the course of those injuries and reduce them. Sort of a head in the sand approach don’t you think?
While OSHA appears on construction sites to spot potential dangers, the agency is doing nothing to protect workers who have injuries that come from repetitive movements.
How do we close this information gap and protect workers? Public Citizen is bringing this information lapse to the public’s attention in its support of a proposal within OSHA to track and report MSD information in its own separate category.
Identifying Common Workplace Illnesses
To quote the advocacy group “OSHA currently lacks a means of identifying instances of what appears to be the most common workplace illness.That deficiency is unacceptable in an agency charged with advancing workplace safety. The proposed recordkeeping requirement rightly would fix it.”
Instead, there are the categories of “injury,” “skin disorder,” “respiratory condition,” ‘poisoning,” “hearing loss,” and “all other illnesses.”
At one time, OSHA did record injuries that were caused by repetitive movements. By 2001, manufacturers objected to the classification and the federal government let go of its important watchdog role and became lapdogs for industry. OSHA eventually removed the requirement for reporting MSDs in 2003.
Obviously OSHA cannot possible carry out its mission of avoiding workplace injuries if it doesn’t have the data to go on.
The last time OSHA did collect any information on MSDs was in 2000 and then it found that “repeat trauma” cases accounted for 67 percent of all workplace illnesses. We need to establish a workplace ergonomics standard. OSHA will finalize its proposal later this year so that it can identify industries and patterns of injury, therefore allocate the appropriate resources to reduce MSDs and better track the efforts.
Recordkeeping is simple, inexpensive and it’s about time to keep people on the job safe from repetitive injuries.
Call our Jacksonville Work Injury Attorneys at 877-245-6707 Today
An employee may feel intimidated when they are injured on-the-job but it would be well-advised to seek advice of a Jacksonville on the job injury attorney. The worker may be able to receive compensation for their injuries. After all that is why we are supposed to pay into workers’ compensation. Contact us to discuss every possible benefit that you are entitled to from your on-the-job injury.