Workplace injuries are a reality for many employees. While some injuries may be more serious than others, all injuries should be taken seriously. In this blog post, we will discuss the difference between major and minor workplace injuries. We will also provide tips on how to stay safe in the workplace and prevent any type of injury from happening.
What is Injury?
Injury is defined as any harm or damage that is done to the body. It can be caused by an accident, a fall, or even intentional violence. Symptoms of injury can include pain, swelling, bruising, and loss of function. Injury can range from mild to severe, and in some cases, it can even be life-threatening. If you have suffered an injury, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
There are many different types of injuries, but they can generally be classified into two main categories: acute and chronic. Acute injuries are those that occur suddenly and usually heal within a few weeks or months. Chronic injuries, on the other hand, are those that develop over time and can last for months or even years.
Major Injuries & Minor Injuries
Major injuries are usually defined as any type of injury that requires hospitalization or results in death. These types of injuries are typically the result of a serious accident, such as a fall from a height or being struck by a heavy object.
Minor injuries, on the other hand, are usually defined as any type of injury that does not require hospitalization or result in death. Minor workplace injuries can still be serious, but they are not usually as severe as major workplace injuries.
So, what can you do to prevent any type of workplace injury from happening? Here are some safety tips to follow:
- Wear the proper safety gear when working with dangerous materials or in hazardous conditions.
- Be aware of your surroundings and know where the nearest exit is in case of an emergency.
- Follow all safety protocols and procedures that are in place at your workplace.
- Report any unsafe conditions or hazards to your supervisor immediately.
By following these safety tips, you can help prevent any type of workplace injury from happening. If you do suffer an injury at work, be sure to seek medical attention immediately and report the injury to your employer.
Workplace injuries range from minimal physical injuries such as paper cuts and scratches to more serious injuries ranging from slip-and-falls, bruising, sprains, and broken bones to calamitous injuries such as amputations, severe trauma, or shootings and stabbings caused by workplace violence.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, requires employers with 10 or more employees to report all workplace injuries regardless of severity.
Minor Injuries Can Become Worse
You slipped on wet flooring in your office, but are sure you’re OK. A few days later, you’re experiencing serious back pain and can barely walk. This is an example of why reporting all workplace injuries is important; what may seem minor at the time can worsen, become chronic or lead to complications such as infection, disease or disability.
Allow your employer to determine minor from major injuries and report any injury or illness occurring in your workplace. Failing to promptly report workplace injuries to your employer can void or reduce insurance or legal claims related to your injury.
Different Types Of Minor injuries
There are different types of minor injuries, but some of the most common include cuts, scrapes, bruises, and sprains. Most minor injuries can be treated at home with over-the-counter medication and rest. However, more serious injuries may require professional medical treatment. If you’re ever unsure about the severity of an injury, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and seek medical attention.
Cuts are one of the most common minor injuries. They can be caused by a variety of things, from paper cuts to kitchen accidents. Most cuts will stop bleeding on their own and can be treated with pressure and a bandage. However, deeper cuts may require stitches.
Scrapes, or abrasions, are another common type of minor injury. They occur when the skin rubs or scrapes against a rough surface. Abrasions usually cause pain, redness, and swelling. Most can be treated at home with over-the-counter medication and a bandage. However, more serious abrasions may require professional medical treatment.
Bruises are another common type of minor injury. They occur when blood vessels are damaged, causing the blood to leak into the surrounding tissues. Bruises usually cause pain, swelling, and discoloration of the skin. Most can be treated at home with over-the-counter medication and ice.
Sprains are another common type of minor injury. They occur when ligaments are stretched or torn. Sprains usually cause pain, swelling, and bruising. Most can be treated at home with over-the-counter medication and ice.
If you have any questions or concerns about a minor injury, it’s always best to consult with a medical professional. They will be able to give you the best advice on how to treat your particular injury.
Different Types Of Major injuries
There are many different types of major injuries that can occur. Some of the most common include:
- Any fracture, other than to the fingers, thumbs, or toes
- Any amputation
- Dislocation of the shoulder, hip, knee, or spine
- Loss of sight (whether temporary or permanent)
- A chemical or hot metal burn to the eye or a penetrating injury to the eye
- Any injury resulting from electric shock or electrical burn (including any electrical burn caused by arcing or arcing products) leading to unconsciousness or requiring resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours
- Any other injury: a) leading to hypothermia, heat-induced illness, or to unconsciousness; b) requiring resuscitation; or c) requiring admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours
- Loss of consciousness caused by asphyxia or by exposure to a harmful substance or biological agent
- Either of the following conditions results from the absorption of any substance by inhalation, ingestion, or through the skin: a) acute illness requiring medical treatment, or b) loss of consciousness
- Acute illness requires medical treatment where there is reason to believe that this resulted from exposure to a biological agent or its toxins or infected material.
Requirements for reporting workplace injuries can vary according to state and local law and organizational policies and procedures. Decisions to report workplace injuries also involve subjective factors such as the injured person’s assessment of her injury. The U.S.
Department of Labor notes that federal injury-reporting requirements generally supersede state requirements, but that states can request variances for reporting workplace injuries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor, categorizes illnesses and injuries according to the body part affected. The BLS does categorize workplace injuries as minor or major in its statistical reporting.
Report Workplace Injuries According to Employer Policy
Deciding whether an injury is minor or major and needs to be reported to your employer is a subjective process. The United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW) union has a policy that all workplace injuries or illnesses causing any of the following conditions must be reported to OSHA: death, missed days of work, restricted work or transfer, medical treatment beyond first aid, loss of consciousness, or any work-related illness, condition or injury diagnosed by a licensed health-care provider.
This suggests that injuries not requiring reporting on OSHA form 300 may be considered “minor,” while injuries requiring reporting to OSHA are “major.” Employers may require employees to report all injuries to ensure compliance with OSHA and other reporting requirements.
Workplace Injury Benefits and Claims
Injuries requiring hospital care and ongoing treatment and therapy can quickly bankrupt employees without health coverage; preserving your right to worker’s compensation is crucial in such cases. Protecting your health and quality of life is the first consideration for reporting and treating workplace injuries.
When reporting workplace injuries, report what happened as accurately as possible and supply names of witnesses. Cooperate with your employer’s investigation of your injury. Follow instructions and note deadlines for filing worker’s compensation and health insurance claims. Keep copies of all claim forms, correspondence, and medical bills related to your workplace injury.