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Disabling injuries and workplace safety statistics

An Oklahoma worker doesn't have to be involved in a profession that centers around heavy labor to suffer a disabling injury from overexertion. However, the professions most closely linked with such injuries are those involving regular lifting. These include movers, laborers, and nursing assistants, according to 2014 statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Liberty Mutual's 2016 index for workplace safety uses 2013 BLS statistics along with information from the National Academy of Social Insurance to provide an overview of injury trends throughout the nation.

In 2013, overexertion was the leading category for workplace injuries, which resulted in direct costs of more than $15 billion to businesses. Falls were divided into two categories; those involving just one level and those involving more than one level. Together, these categories represented another $15 billion in costs to businesses. Equipment injuries and vehicle-related injuries on roads were also significant.

Many companies tailor safety programs to the specific risks involved with the work environment. Labor-related businesses may focus on safe lifting, tool safety, equipment management, and the proper use of personal protective equipment. Those businesses that have risks of repetitive stress injuries may create safety training programs that target ergonomic equipment and proper handling of objects. However, not all injuries are predictable or preventable. An important facet of worker training should be the importance of taking personal responsibility for safe working conditions. Workers should also understand the workers' compensation process along with reporting requirements and procedures.

A worker who does not immediately realize that they have suffered a strain or other type of injury on the job might delay in reporting the issue to superiors and in seeking treatment. An individual who faces criticism for later making a report might feel intimidated by an employer and delay further in seeking appropriate help. If adverse treatment results from filing a workers' compensation claim, an employee might discuss the situation with a lawyer to better understand their rights.

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