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Imagining people getting hurt while at work can conjure up thoughts of warehouse workers or truck drivers. But one may be surprised to hear that injuries that happen while working white collar jobs are just as common. People who are injured while at work are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

By understanding the nature of some common workplace injuries, and gaining a basic understanding of the workers’ compensation system, readers can better protect themselves and their rights while at work. Ways that people can become injured while at work vary as much as peoples’ duties at work. In general, people can become injured in two ways: repetitive stress, and one-time injuries. To learn more about common workplace injuries, contact a qualified Raleigh workers compensation lawyer today.

Examples of Common Workplace Injuries

Workers in manual labor professions, such as plumbers, welders, or general laborers, are vulnerable to injuries that accrue over time. Repetitive stress can severely injure peoples’ knees, shoulders, and backs. These types of injuries can have a permanent effect on a person’s ability to work. Workplace injuries can also result from a one-time event. Falling down stairs, slipping on ice, or even being assaulted while working with patients can all be examples of one-time injuries.

Even people who work in generally safe offices can be exposed to hazards in the form of ongoing construction areas or poorly maintained structures. One-time incidents can result in concussions, broken bones, or even long-term nerve damage. It is important to remember that the law does not care how the accident happened, as long as it happened while at work.

“At-Work” Accidents

The concept of whether the accident happened while “at-work” is the major focus in all workers’ compensation cases. To be considered “at-work” an employee must be on the clock and performing their normal work duties. For example, a nurse who is performing his or her rounds and slips on a puddle left by the orderly’s cart, can certainly claim to be at-work. However, if this same nurse slips on an ice patch in the parking lot while leaving their shift for the day, the employer will argue that they were no longer at-work due to being off the clock.

Gray Areas

A gray area emerges if the injury happens while on the clock, but the worker is not performing work activities, such as getting a snack. Being aware of the possible injuries that can occur in people’s work environments is critical to being safe at work. If an accident does happen, the workers’ compensation program is there to help. People with questions about their individual circumstances should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer for more information.