A recent report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that an average of 12 work-related injuries occur every day in Colorado and the rest of the country. Most of these fatalities result from four main hazards that OSHA refers to as the “fatal four.”
Falls remain the number one cause of worker fatalities, accounting for 36.5% of all deaths in the workplace. These accidents usually result from improperly constructed working or walking surfaces, wet floors, inadequate safety gear or human error.
Being struck by an object
This hazard includes getting hit by flying or falling objects, as well as falling objects due to equipment strikes or malfunctions, loose materials or rigging failures. This type of accident is most common in construction and manufacturing settings. It accounts for nearly 10.1% of all workplace fatalities.
Electrocutions occur when a worker comes into contact with an electrical current. These accidents often result from faulty wiring, exposed live wires or improper use of equipment. Electrocutions make up almost 8% of all workplace fatalities.
Caught-in or between accidents
These accidents involve workers who become trapped between two heavy objects or crushed by collapsing materials. They account for nearly 2.5% of all workplace deaths.
What to do when injured in Colorado as a worker
If injured on the job, you should seek medical attention immediately and also notify your employer of the accident as soon as you get the chance. The law requires employers in Colorado to insure their employees against work-related injuries and diseases. So, you can make a claim with the employer’s insurance company to cover your medical expenses and lost wages. You may also have the right to receive benefits from the state’s workers’ compensation system.
There are circumstances where you may also need to file a lawsuit against your employer for your injuries. For instance, if your employer deliberately disregarded a known safety hazard or if your loved one lost their life as a result of the accident. When taking this route, it’s important to note that you will have a timeline, usually two years from the date of your accident, to bring the lawsuit. You must also gather sufficient evidence, including witness testimony and expert opinion, to prove that your employer was at fault.