3 Ways Distracted Employees can Injure Their Coworkers

January 3, 2024

3 Ways Distracted Employees can Injure Their Coworkers

Distracted employees on their phone can lead to an injured colleague.

Many on-the-job injuries are self-caused, but distracted employees can injure not only themselves, but others as well.

Distracted employees can pose a great danger for their colleagues. 

70 percent of all workers admit to feeling distracted at work, with 16 percent saying they are “almost always distracted”. 

There are a number of potential workplace injuries, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Neck pain and serious neck Injuries
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Back injuries like a herniated disc that may lead to frequent back pain
  • Sprains and strains
  • Spinal cord injuries that lead to paralysis
  • Loss of limbs
  • Serious head injuries like a concussion
  • Eye injuries that lead to vision issues

There are multiple ways distracted employees might injure their colleagues.

A common way is by multitasking, or performing more than one task at a time. According to research from the University of Southern California (USC), multitasking can have negative effects on the brain’s efficiency to perform

Trying to multitask with coworkers can increase the chance of miscommunication. The same USC study states that “if everyone in the group is distracted, there is little to no chance of coming together and producing the best work possible”.

Imagine two workers at a clothing store. One of the workers, Jayson, is climbing a ladder to put up new posters and other materials to advertise a summer collection of outfits. 

The other worker, Craig, is supposed to help Jayson by handing him the objects. Instead, Craig tries to multitask by folding clothes as he hands Jayson things to prevent having to stay later.

Craig’s distraction via multitasking causes a miscue, and Jayson falls from the ladder, suffering a serious back injury. 

Distracted employees may also cause injuries to their colleagues by using their phone. Similar to distracted driving, distracted employees who send text messages while on the job can cause negative effects on coworkers.

A distracted worker multitasking might lead an injury

Think of a situation where a construction worker checks their phone for texts while operating a piece of heavy machinery. Their distraction can cause them to lose control of the machine, potentially colliding with an employee.

Additionally, distracted employees may injure their colleagues if they are ill-equipped or unprepared for their task. A newer employee unsure of how to operate a machine or piece of equipment is already tough enough, but if they are distracted, the situation becomes twice the danger.

Workers injured on the job qualify for workers’ compensation benefits

Workers’ comp is available for qualifying employees. One exception to this rule is in regards to independent contractors, who do not meet qualifications. 

Workers’ compensation can help injured employees recover benefits such as:

  • Medical benefits to help pay for medical bills after doctor visits or rehabilitation.
  • Disability benefits to help after an injury renders the injured party unable to work because of the injury. Both permanent and non-permanent disability benefits are available.
  • Vocational rehabilitation to help with job training if an injury or illness prevents employees from fully participating in their previous position.
  • Dependent death benefits to help dependents, such as children, spouse, parents, grandparents, etc., receive benefits if a worker’s injury or illness leads to death.

It’s not uncommon for workers’ comp claims to be denied. An injured worker may be left in the dark trying to figure out how they will survive with bills piling up after the injury.

If you were injured at work due to distracted employees, contact C&B Law Group today for help.

Our Los Angeles workers’ compensation team is prepared to help you following a workplace injury. 

We have several years of experience helping victims of workplace injuries recover benefits.  Our team has helped clients across the Los Angeles area, including cities such as:

  • Burbank
  • Glendale
  • Long Beach
  • Compton
  • Whittier
  • South Gate
  • Inglewood
  • Norwalk
  • Lynwood

You shouldn’t have to suffer following a workplace injury. Being injured is already hard enough for those involved.

Let the LA workers’ comp lawyers at C&B Law Group help you following an on-the-job injury. Contact us today to learn more about a free consultation.

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