Each year many workers experience serious, life-threatening, or life-altering injuries. Workers who are seriously injured in an accident have their entire life changed in an instant. Their daily routine is no longer as it was in the past.

Discussion Points:
• What are life-changing injuries?
• How can life-changing injuries impact your life?
• What are the most common causes of life-changing injuries?
• What are the most common life-changing injuries?
• The amount of compensation awarded for life-changing injuries depends on?

Life-changing injuries may result in amputation, burns, loss of sight or hearing, or brain or spinal injury. Many serious injuries are permanent or catastrophic. Permanent injuries are physical or mental damage that limits a person’s life activities and ability to work. Catastrophic injuries cause permanent disability, disfiguration, or brain injury. Head injuries that cause brain damage can result in the person not being able to return to work due to seriously reduced mental ability. They may become incapable of independent living and become reliant on full-time care.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 2.4 million workers sustained work-related injuries and were treated in emergency departments during 2019. The most common non-fatal workplace injuries involve sprains, strains, and fractures, followed by injuries related to overexertion, transportation accidents, and falls. For every 600 recordable injuries, 30 were life-changing injuries, and for every 30 life-changing injuries, one was fatal. Recordable injuries are injuries that require more than basic first aid care. The most common debilitating work-related injury reported each year that limits a worker’s ability to perform their job involves the lower back. Because of the impact these injuries often have on a person’s livelihood, career, and income, it is necessary to seek compensation. This involves investigating what or who was at fault. Many life-changing injuries can be caused accidentally or intentionally by other people. The amount of compensation awarded for the injury is dependent on the circumstances surrounding the injury. All work-related inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye must be reported by the employer within 24 hours, and all workplace fatalities reported within eight hours.

To make a report call the nearest OSHA office, call the OSHA 24-hour hotline at 1-800-321-6742 (OSHA)
or Report Online.

As always, stay safe out there!