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Common Causes of Workplace Accidents

Workplace accidents are unfortunate, but they happen a lot more than necessary. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development oversee the workers’ compensation for employees in the state of Tennessee.

Workers’ compensation is money given to employees who were injured on the job. It should help cover medical bills and prescriptions related to the injury.

Staying safe while on the job should be your number one priority. Get more information on the most common work-related injuries and what you should do if you have an accident.

Workplace Injury Rates in Tennessee

Back in 1970, the government put together an organization called the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They have one job: keep American employees safe while at work. They come up with rules for employers to make sure that they are doing everything in their power to keep you safe when working.

Just because the government funds them, doesn't mean the rules only protect government employees. Privately owned companies have to follow them as well. Failure to do so can lead to a workplace lawsuit.

At the end of each year, OSHA will put together information about the injuries that took place while on the job. There were some interesting facts when you look at the accidents that took place at work in Tennessee. Out of every 100 employees, these industries had some of the highest reported injuries:

  • Sawmills and Wood Preservation - 10 injuries out of 100

  • Farming - 9.8 injuries out of 100

  • Air Transportation - 9.8 injuries out of 100

  • Hospitals/Nursing Staff/Health Care Providers - 8.2 out of 100

  • Motor Vehicle Manufacturing - 7.7 out of 100

  • Residential Building Construction - 5.8 out of 100

  • Road Construction - 5.2 out of 100

Have you suffered from a work-related injury?

Contact Bart Durham

Most Common Workplace Injuries

Workplace injuries happen a lot more often than is needed. Injuries on the job can be severe enough that you can't go into work. Here are some of the most common ways employees are injured while on the job.

Slips and Falls

Slipping, tripping, or falling is one of the leading causes of work-related injuries. It's estimated that $16.5 billion has been given to employees over the years in workers’ compensation. How do they happen?

Failing to provide employees with ladders and step stools to reach objects that are up high. Electrical cords and wires that are not wrapped up and tucked away become a tripping hazard. A wet floor that has not been clearly marked with a sign to let people know to be careful in that area.

Poor Housekeeping

Employers should keep a tidy worksite. Objects and debris can pile up and create safety hazards. Poor housekeeping would also refer to keeping simple things like cords and wires out of walkways. Cabinets and drawers should be somewhere people can't run into them.


Taking any kind of shortcut will reduce your safety level. Managers should give all workers enough time to complete their tasks, so they don't have to take shortcuts. Training all employees on the correct steps to complete a task safely will reduce workplace injuries.  Also, employers should be aware of the risks each employee is taking when asked to complete any job.

What is the Main Cause of Workplace Injury?


Overexertion relates to physical activities. These activities could be:

  • Bending

  • Lifting

  • Pushing

  • Pulling

  • Reaching

  • Kneeling

  • And many more.

Overexertion is, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number one reason people are injured while at work. Injuries like these can cost businesses $15 billion.

Some jobs require the lifting of heavy objects. Those that do should give each employee the right training to handle the heavy boxes or equipment. Failure to train employees to manage a heavy load becomes a liability.

Injuries can happen when you are asked to carry, lift, or push lighter loads such as books, files, or stacks of paper. Movements like this will put pressure on your back, shoulder, and neck. Employees should be trained with the proper safety techniques to avoid an injury.

What Should I do if I am Injured While Working?

Tennessee law says any injury that requires medical attention, absence from work, or death is entitled to workers’ compensation. The most important thing you can do when injured on the job is to report it to your manager or boss.

In Tennessee, you have to declare your injury within 30 days of the accident, and you must do so in writing. You'll want this in case you have to go to court. Within one day of filing your report, your employer should submit a Tennessee Employer’s First Report of Work Injury or Illness form. They need to do this even if they aren't sure the accident happened while on the job.

What if I have to Have Medical Treatment?

The workers’ compensation or your employer should cover the costs of medical expenses related to your accident. That includes hospital costs, doctors fees, prescriptions, etc. You can even receive compensation for having to travel further than 15 miles for medical appointments. Sometimes you might be required to visit a specific doctor to make sure your visit is covered under your employer's insurance.

Workers’ Compensation Denial

There are times when an individual has been denied workers’ compensation. With the right lawyer, you can get the information you need to appeal the decision. Contact Bart Durham to learn more about getting the financial coverage you need from a workplace injury.

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