Root Causes of Work Injuries and Workers’ Compensation: Why are They Important? What You Need to Know

With respect to work injuries, many employers have injury prevention programs to take the information from your workers’ compensation case and use it to improve workplace safety. After your work injury, there may be some inquiry from your employer concerning your case as to how your injury was caused and how it could have been prevented. Causes of work injuries are also important to injured workers. They may impact the amount of an injured worker’s compensation, or bar one’s entitlement to one.

Are causes of work injuries important?

Yes. While workers’ compensation is a “no fault” system and negligence of the employee is not a defense, the cause of the injury may trigger possible enhancement of the injured workers’ claim or provide some defense to the employer. For example, if the cause of the injury was greater than negligence on behalf of the employer or the employee, serious and willful misconduct claims may be considered by both the employee and employer (See Labor Code Section). Intoxication and Horseplay causes of injury on behalf of the employee may offer some defense to the employer to reduce or bar compensation. If the injury was caused by a third party, meaning someone other than the employer, a lawsuit may be brought against the third party. This type of lawsuit can be done in addition to the workers’ compensation claim.

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Are causes broken down into categories?

Yes. Some employer work injury prevention programs break causes into various categories. This enables them to better understand the areas of the workplace that may require additional safety prevention. Some of the categories of Causes are Equipment, Work Environment, Policy and Procedure, Training, Supervision, and Worker.

What are Equipment Causes of Work Injuries?

Equipment causes of injury can include equipment malfunction, safety guards being modified, safety guards being missing, improper use of tools or materials, defective tool usage, improper protective clothing, defective protective clothing, and inadequate clothing.

What are Work Environment Causes of Work Injuries?

Work Environment causes include the arrangement of equipment, work flow, tools, poor housekeeping (meaning cleanliness and organization), third party causation, and weather-related.

What are the Policy and Procedure Causes of Work Injuries?

Policy and Procedure causes of injury include unsafe procedures or work practice, training, missing procedures, and inadequate procedures.

What are Training Causes of Work Injuries?

Training causes of injury include the employee not being adequately trained for the task or assignment.

What are Supervision Causes of Work Injuries?

Supervision causes include policies and procedures not being enforced.

What are Worker Causes of Injury?

Worker causes include continuous trauma or repetitive strain, horseplay or unsafe behavior, short cuts or carelessness, distraction or inattentiveness, and presumptive injuries. Presumptive Injuries are those that the Labor Code consider as work-related by virtue of the injured worker’s position and the body part injured. Presumptive Injuries generally apply to some Safety and Law Enforcement personnel. These include heart presumptions and cancer presumptions.

Where Can I Get Legal Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. They have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their worker’s compensation cases for 26 years. Contact us today for more information.

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