Iowa has the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of worker fatalities in all the Midwest. Experts attribute this phenomenon to several factors including the state’s aging population and their likelihood of self-employment.
These smaller businesses do not have the resources that larger corporations have to boost workplace safety. They must make do with what little they have for equipment. As for support, they often must look out for themselves. This makes their jobs a lot harder than it should be. It also makes them prone to accidents with devastating consequences. The most dangerous injuries in Iowa are listed below in order of their frequency of occurrence:
Almost half of the fatal work-related injuries in the state come from transport incidents. This is significantly higher than the US average which is only at forty percent. Many of these are due to roadway accidents including collisions with other vehicles, objects, animals, and so on. A few non-collision incidents and non-roadway incidents have also been recorded.
Many of these workers were employed in the agriculture, transportation, and construction industries. These businesses need to move large volumes of goods and the high mileage put in on the roads increases their risk. There was also a jump in the number of fatalities from aircraft accidents.
Falls, Slips, and Trips
Falls are another big contributor, accounting for twenty percent of the fatalities. There were more falls to a lower level in 2016 compared to the previous year. The increased vertical distance means greater impact forces upon landing, causing more serious injuries and often fatalities.
A lot of these came from the construction industry where workers often need to scale great heights while building and renovating structures. They need safety gear and equipment likes helmets, nets, and harnesses for protection while doing their jobs. Hazards should be cleared from the site to prevent these falls, slips, and trips.
Contact with Objects and Equipment
Another common cause of injuries is contact with objects and equipment on the worksite. The objects may not necessarily be dangerous in ordinary use but could become a hazard depending on the situation. For example, a construction worker may be struck by a falling brick or hammer that may have slipped from the hand of another worker and unfortunately landed on his head. This terrible accident can lead to a cracked skull and profuse bleeding if there is no headgear. This category also includes strikes by powered vehicles that are not used for transport as well as getting trapped or stuck in heavy machinery.
Violence by Persons or Animals
There was a distinct rise in the number of fatalities from violence and injuries inflicted by persons or animals from 2015 to 2016. Many of these were intentional injuries caused by another individual at work. Others were attributed to animals or insects, which is not surprising since Iowa is filled with rural areas. Much of the population depends on raising farm animals, and things may go wrong from time-to-time. The people here are also fond of the outdoors, where they can encounter dangerous animals.
Fortunately, most work-related injuries will not lead to fatalities. The victims survive and often return to work after their recovery. However, their experience will leave a mark, not only in their bodies but also on their finances. Compensation may be possible with the help of an Iowa work injury attorney.
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