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What Job Sectors and Income Groups Are Most Likely to Use Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

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Worker’s comp benefits are designed to protect employed workers from losing income when they are injured on the job. Usually, compensation claims pay for incurred and ongoing medical expenses and are a percentage of lost wages due to injury sustained while on the job. When an employee is injured on the job, it is his or her responsibility to file a worker’s comp claim and get a documented physician’s report to substantiate the assertion.

Worker’s comp claims are not based on fault, and therefore claimants are eligible to receive benefits whether or not they had held partial responsibility in the injury. Personal injury suits are usually only implicated when there has been an act of gross negligence or if a third party is involved. Benefits can be given as temporary wage replacement or permanently if the employees have sustained injuries that will alter their abilities to work for the rest of their lives.

While almost all businesses are required to have some form of worker’s comp coverage, not all workers are entitled to benefits if they are injured on the job. Some industry workers are more susceptible to job-related injuries than others. In these cases, worker’s comp benefits are generally higher as the risk of injury is higher.

Common Industries for Worker’s Comp Claims

Workers comp claims cost the United States billions of dollars each year, which is why the CDC and agencies like OSHA take every step possible to ensure workplace safety.

Warehouse and Industrial Work

Some of the most common trades to seek worker’s comp claims are warehouse and freight transportation industries. People who work in these sectors are often exposed to detrimental respiratory conditions like asbestos or dank working environments. However, the most common warehouse injury results from using the forklift improperly, or if the forklift is not maintained correctly. According to OSHA, there are roughly 34,900 serious forklift injuries every year, 84 of which are fatal. Most forklift injuries occur during loading and unloading, and around 42% of forklift injuries are a result of the forklift tipping over.

Construction Workers

Another common job for injuries is in the construction industry. There are roughly 6.5 million construction workers in the United States, and fatality rates for this industry are higher than the national average of any other industry. Though less serious injuries occur quite frequently, like sprains, breaks, and repetitive motion injuries, the occurrence of fatal injuries in the construction industry is high because there are more ways to be seriously injured. The most common serious or fatal injuries are usually due to falls from heights, scaffolding collapses, and electric shocks.

Industries That Work With Chemicals

Employees in certain industries can expose themselves to hundreds of chemicals on any given day and therefore chemical injuries in the workplace are quite common. Chemicals absorbed through the skin can cause significant illnesses and even death. Though it is hard to measure the exact amount of incidents per year, OSHA estimates that nearly 860,000 illnesses from occupational chemical exposure happen annually. While there are many occupations in which employees expose themselves to chemicals regularly, some of the biggest industries for injuries are nurses and hospital workers, manufacturing plants, mining, cleaning industries, and even office workers. The most common chemical injuries are rashes/burns, respiratory injuries, and brain injuries from inhalation.

Although recent studies have not indicated any particular income range that is more likely to file worker’s comp claims, the nature of blue collar jobs does suggest that people who work in these income brackets and industries are more likely to be injured on the job. If you have been injured on the job and are filing a worker’s comp claim, it’s important to contact a California workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. Experienced attorneys can help you navigate through the complex process involved in a claim and get you the amount of compensation you deserve.