L&I Claim for Finger and Hand Work Injury – Workers Compensation Legal Blogs Posted by Tara Reck, Esq.
The Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) conducts investigations and maintains data on the compensation claims of all workers in Washington state. In fact, the L&I incident information database contains data from 2007 to 2020. The data captures every type of accident in the workplace, body parts and the type of injury. In addition, they store information about the cause of the injuries, the occupation, the frequency and the risk classes in the workplace. Interestingly, many occupational accidents are associated with trauma to the spine and surrounding muscles, bones, ligaments, joints, and tissues. Surprisingly, finger and hand labor injuries are even more common than spinal injuries.
Manual labor injury numbers and statistics
The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics published a fascinating study in 2017. In summary, finger and hand accidents cause around 43% of all non-fatal accidents in which workers miss work days. These incidents are most common in construction, woodworking, lumbering, and woodworking. They are also very common among medical professionals and workers in the mining, manufacturing, nursing, janitorial, and transportation professions. In my experience, however, hand and finger injuries can occur in any profession. Even in some of the most sedentary jobs.
Employee compensation for hand or finger accidents
Sometimes finger and hand accidents are easy. For example, small cuts or wounds that heal quickly. They can also be far more serious and disabling. For example, I’ve seen people lose a finger, multiple fingers, or their entire hand. Crush injuries are also common. A severe crush injury may require surgical amputation of the finger or hand. They can also cause conditions like complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), which is extremely painful with unusual symptoms like hair loss and skin changes.
Injuries to hands and fingers in the workplace in certain industries also carry the risk of developing secondary infections. Such infections include methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or staphylococcal infections. The risk is particularly high in the medical and nursing fields. In fact, there is a risk to any workplace exposed to unsanitary conditions. For example, consider caretaking or working with animals. Needlestick injuries are common in these settings. Needle sticks or needle sticks in accidents at work carry an increased risk of transmitting serious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis and syphilis.
Hand injury in the L&I claim setting
These examples illustrate why there are so many finger and hand injuries at work. If the injury is simple and easy to fix, the cost of L&I claims is low. However, in the case of more serious accidents with potential secondary or industrial diseases, the costs are much higher. According to L&I, workers under the age of twenty-four have the highest risk of finger and hand injuries at work.
Many workers constantly use their hands and fingers in normal work activities. As a result, a serious hand injury or hand sickness can result in complete disability. For younger workers, the inability to use a hand or finger can permanently damage the future of their work. I therefore applaud L & I for its continued efforts to educate employers and employees about the danger and risk of finger and hand injuries in the workplace.
Further information: https://tarareck.com/l-and-i-claim-hand-work-injury/
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Ms. Tara Reck is the executive L&I attorney at Reck Law – Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Washington State. If you would like further information, please contact Ms. Reck via:
* Seattle | Bellevue | Mercer Island Office: (206) 395-6141
* Tacoma Office: (253) 999-9828
* Renton office: (425) 800-8195
* Port Orchard Office: (360) 876-4123
* Email: [email protected]
* Your Workers’ Compensation blog at https://tarareck.com/contact/ or their company website at https://recklaw.com/contact/