Common Workplace Accidents in Georgia and How to Avoid Them
Workplace accidents are all too common. Employers should understand workplace accident, injury, and fatality statistics related to their industries so that they can implement and enforce safety policies. Workers should also be aware of the risks present in their workplaces and take steps to avoid incidents that could lead to serious injuries or death.
If you are injured in a workplace accident or are diagnosed with a work-related condition, we recommend calling Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC. We routinely represent workers following workplace accidents in Georgia and guide them through third-party liability claims.
Georgia Workplace Accident Statistics
Georgia’s rate of non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2017 (the most recent available data) amounted to 2.6 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The rate varied drastically among different private industries. Financial activities had a low rate of 0.6 cases while trade, transportation, and utilities had a high rate of 3.3 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers.
According to the BLS, Georgia experienced 194 fatal work injuries in 2017. That was an increase from 171 workplace fatalities the previous year, although the state’s work-related deaths have been as high as 249 fatalities in 1994.
Common Workplace Accidents
Employers and workers should proactively prevent and avoid the following types of incidents:
Transportation accidents were the most common cause of workplace fatalities in Georgia in 2017. Transportation accidents involving all types of vehicles and collisions resulted in 96 worker deaths and accounted for 49 percent of workplace fatalities, according to the BLS.
Of the fatal transportation accidents, 70 were roadway incidents involving a motorized vehicle, 14 involved a pedestrian vehicle, 14 involved roadway collisions with objects, six involved aircrafts, and one involved a rail vehicle.
One way for employers to reduce the risk of transportation accidents is to ensure that all workers are appropriately trained and certified to operate certain vehicles, such as commercial trucks and forklifts. Another strategy is to limit where and how vehicles can be driver on worksites. Roadways, even informal ones, should be marked and workers should navigate them at slow speeds.
When workers are in close proximity to normal traffic, there should be plenty of signs and signals visible to drivers informing them to slow down and that work is going on in the area. Workers should also be trained to stay as far from traffic as possible and to wear reflective gear at night and during dawn and dusk.
Violence by People or Animals
In 2017, Georgia experienced 30 worker deaths due to violence by other persons or animals. That includes 27 incidents of intentional injury by a person, including eight suicides.
Violence can be difficult to predict and prevent. One strategy is to heighten security for the work environment. A building or worksite should be secure so that pedestrians cannot wander in. If employers identify a particularly high risk of crime, hiring security personnel and installing surveillance may be appropriate.
Falls, Slips, Trips
Georgia experienced 27 worker’s deaths due to fall-related accidents, including 25 falls to lower levels.
To reduce the number of slips, trips, and falls, employers and workers should focus on maintaining a clean and tidy work environment. Debris, garbage, cords, and wires on the ground often cause trips and slips.
Standing water and spills are a major risk factor. When a worker identifies a slip risk, warning signs should be put up and it should be addressed as quickly as possible.
Another significant risk is from holes in flooring and on the edges of floors and platforms. Barriers should be installed anywhere a fall to a lower floor could occur. Workers who need to work near the edge of a platform should have the proper personal fall protection gear.
Contact With Objects and Equipment
Of the 25 deaths in Georgia related to workers coming into contact with objects and equipment, 16 fatalities were due to workers being struck by an object or equipment while six deaths were related to being caused in or compressed by equipment or objects.
To avoid accidents with objects and equipment, only appropriately trained personnel should work with machinery and heavy equipment. Proper training can reduce the risk of entanglement and electric shock accidents.
Objects stored at a height need to be properly secured. Objects that can shift, move, and fall on workers create a risk of head injuries and more.
Exposure to Harmful Substances
Thirteen Georgia workers died due to exposure to harmful substances or environments in 2017. That includes three deaths related to electrocution, one related to oxygen deficiency, and eight related to other harmful substances.
Many jobs require workers to handle and move toxic and other harmful substances. Workers who need to work with or near hazmat should have the appropriate training and equipment. All hazmat should be stored, transported, and used based on safety regulations.
Contact a Work Injury Lawyer After a Serious Accident
If you were injured in a workplace accident, or you lost a loved one, do not hesitate to call Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC at (404) 419-6674. We will carefully investigate and review your claim, and when appropriate, guide you through a third-party liability lawsuit or insurance claim.