Ask Away Blog: Here's What You Need to Know About Workplace Injury

Here's What You Need to Know About Workplace Injury

Thursday, June 13, 2019

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When you leave for work in the morning, you might have a million things on your mind. How will you get that report in on time? Is there enough budget left for that training? Will you get paid in time for the weekend?

The one thing you probably never think of is the possibility of getting injured that day. But accidents in the workplace happen all the time. That's why it's so important to think of what risks you might face at work and what you would do if you were unlucky enough to experience a workplace injury.
What is workplace injury?
A workplace injury can be an injury or illness which was caused while you were at work. Working conditions are much more safe in the modern day, but injuries in the workplace are still surprisingly common. There were around 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2017, which works out as almost three injuries per 100 full-time employees. In fact, according to the National Safety Council (NSC), a worker is injured on the job every 7 seconds! It's still surprisingly common to be hurt or even killed at work.
You might automatically think of high-risk industries like construction or manufacturing, but a workplace injury can occur in any setting. Whether you work on an oil rig or in the marketing department of a small business, you need to know what to do if you're unfortunate enough to experience an injury at work.

What are the most common workplace injuries?
The NSC states that the most common injury at work is overexertion, for example, by carrying out repetitive motions or lifting and lowering items. 26% of workplace injuries resulting in lost work days are caused by contact with objects or equipment, for example, getting caught in a machine or being crushed under a collapsing structure. Slips, trips, and falls account for more than a quarter of injuries that cause people to miss work. There are a whole host of other injuries that could occur, depending on the workplace. These can include (but are not limited to) electrocution, exposure to toxic substances, or exposure to loud noise.





Workplace Injuries
Provided by The National Safety Council How employers prevent accident and injury
It's your employer's job to do everything in their power to create a safe and healthy work environment. They should have policies in place to protect workers, and these should be updated regularly and made available to employees. They need to provide training as necessary, so employees know how to do their job safely and how to report any risks. Proper equipment, including any essential safety gear, is also vital. Employers should also make sure that equipment and vehicles are well maintained, so they are safe to use.

Things you can do to prevent injury
Your safety is ultimately the responsibility of your employer. They should do everything they can to keep you safe and healthy within the workplace. You can protect yourself by following health and safety guidelines distributed by your employer and always using any appropriate safety equipment provided. You can also protect yourself and others by reporting any risks immediately.

You've been injured in the workplace, what now?
No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen. So what happens if you have an accident at work?

If you've had an accident, tell your supervisor immediately, even if you don't think you've been hurt. You'll want to make an accident report (in writing) to your employer as soon as possible, regardless of whether or not you are injured. This is because many states require you to make a timely report to receive workers compensation. If you later find out that you've been injured as a result of the accident, it will be useful to have a record of the accident on file. Reporting an accident can also help to keep your co-workers safe. Check the requirements for reporting with your state or employer.

You'll probably need to see a doctor right away for medical care and also to get a report on any injuries. You might need to check with your employer to see if there is a specific doctor you need to see to be eligible for workers compensation. If your accident has resulted in an injury, you need to report this to your employer so they can file a compensation claim on your behalf. Let them know immediately and be sure to follow up on the progress of the application. You might also want to keep a record of your case, including a copy of your claim form, and any photos or medical bills.

Compensation is to cover for some of the hardships a person may experience due to an injury. Injuries received at work can cause many problems. There might be medical bills to pay, as well as potential lost income due to days missed at work. An injury may affect the person's quality of life either in the short or long term, and could even take a psychological toll or cause long term disability. Certain injuries, such as an electrocution related injury, are often severe and permanent. This means there is often significant compensation available for people who suffer these injuries at work.

An experienced personal injury attorney can support you through the process of claiming compensation. Initial consultations are often free, so you can consult with them on what you might be entitled to. Each state has different regulations and deadlines when it comes to workers compensation, so it's essential that you read up on the matter or consult a legal expert to know how best to handle this situation. If your case is more complicated or ends up going to court, you'll want to have legal representation.

An injury at work can be a terrible experience, but with the right support, you can get any compensation and help that you are entitled to. Be sure to do your research and understand the kind of support you might be eligible to receive and how to go about getting this.




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