June 16, 2015
What is the No. 1 source of compensable disabling work-related injuries in Oregon?
Answer: The worker. Broad descriptions of workplace injuries often focus on the event, or the manner in which the injury or illness was produced. Being struck by an object and falls are examples, and they are what people usually think of as "accidents." But, for an event to happen, it must have a source – something that is responsible for the injury. Some sources, such as physical objects are relatively easy to identify – when a worker is struck by a vehicle, for example. That is not the case when a worker is the "source" of an injury. Physical, mental, or emotional conditions can be injury sources, as well as bodily motion that results in fatigue and discomfort.
These injuries resulted from free movement of the worker's body with no impact involved. Injuries typically happened during a single episode when the worker was bending, crawling, reaching, or twisting.
Floors and floor openings were the source for the largest proportion (43 percent) of these injuries. Falls on same level due to slipping or tripping were the most frequent injury events.
Boxes, crates, and cartons were the sources for the largest proportion (35 percent) of these injuries. Overexertion from lifting or lowering and pushing or pulling were the most frequent injury events.
Patients in health care facilities were the source for 70 percent of these injuries. Multiple types of overexertion, hitting, kicking, beating, and shoving were the most frequent injury events.
Freight hauling and utility trucks were the source for 46 percent of these injuries. Falls due to slipping, tripping, and climbing were the most frequent injury events.
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