31.07.2022 13:00

5 Things to Know About Workplace Injuries

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There are a lot of general reasons workplace accidents happen. Workplace injuries example, employees who aren’t properly trained, a lack of safety and protective equipment, violations of OSHA safety rules, and a failure to maintain work equipment are all among the most frequently seen reasons.

When someone gets hurt at work, it’s scary and stressful. You may be worried about how you’ll keep up with your financial responsibilities until you can return to work and unsure of the next steps to take.

The following are five things to know about workplace injuries.

1. The Most Common Types of Accidents

Some of the workplace accidents that occur most often include:

Trips and falls — These types of accidents make up around 1/3 of workplace personal injuries, and they’re one of the major causes of worker’s compensation claims. Slips, trips, and falls can lead to injuries to the head and back, as well as the neck. Wet, oily, or icy surfaces contribute to slips. Trips are often caused by uncovered cables, uneven surfaces, and poor lighting.

Moving machinery — Any time a workplace involves heavy machinery, there’s an inherent risk. The industries where machinery is most prevalent include farming, construction, and manufacturing. Clothes or even body parts can get stuck in machinery, and these injuries can be severe or deadly.

Vehicle accidents — Vehicle accidents can include getting hit by a car, falling from a vehicle, or being hit by something that falls from a vehicle.

Fires and explosions — Risk factors for these situations include combustible materials that are improperly stored, fault gas lines, or open flames. The injuries can include burns, damage to the respiratory system, and disfigurement.

Overexertion — While they’re not as severe as some of the other types of injuries, musculoskeletal disorders and injuries are the most expensive that occur in the workplace. For example, just back pain costs more than 7 billion dollars a year to employers and leads to more than 100 million lost days of work each year. Repetitive stress injuries and improper lifting tend to be common culprits for overexertion and related accidents and injuries.

2. Report Your Injury

If you’re ever hurt at work, you need to protect your legal rights. The most important thing to do right away is to let your employer know about your injury. Once you’ve reported the injury, you can file a claim, usually with a worker’s compensation court in your state.

3. Employers Have Responsibilities

OSHA is the federal entity that creates and enforces workplace regulations for health and safety. There are a number of responsibilities that employers have to keep a safe workplace. Some of the regulations from OSHA include:

Employers have to provide workplaces that are free of recognized hazards.

Your employer is responsible for regularly inspecting the conditions of the workplace to make sure they meet all relevant OSHA standards.

Employees need to have safe equipment and tools to do their jobs.

Employers need to add labels, signs, and posters throughout the workplace to remind employees of safety and warn them of hazards.

An employer has to provide safety training.

Records must be kept of work-related illnesses and injuries.

Employers can’t discriminate against employees exercising their rights.

4. Worker’s Rights

Worker’s compensation laws vary depending on the state, as do rights that you have as an injured employee. In general, some of the more common legal rights, regardless of the state where you work, include:

It’s your right to file a claim for illness or injury in worker’s compensation court or in your state’s industrial court.

Employees have the right to see a doctor and get medical treatment.

If your physician says you can return to work, you have a right to return to your job.

When you can’t return to work because of an illness or injury, permanently or temporarily, you may have a right to disability compensation.

5. How Worker’s Compensation Works

If an employee is hurt while they’re on the job, worker’s compensation insurance can cover medical expenses and some of their missed salary while they’re recovering. For employers, the benefit is that it protects them from liability. An employer can’t be sued in most instances if an employee is hurt at work since they are covered by worker’s compensation.

The process usually works like this:

Worker’s comp benefits are applicable to employees who are hurt while they’re doing their job. If something happens at work, but the employee isn’t on the clock, then it’s not covered. Not all injuries on the job are covered, either. For example, many states have exceptions if injuries are caused by the employee’s own drug or alcohol use. Worker’s compensation can sometimes cover needed care for occupational diseases. An occupational disease is one that occurs because of ongoing workplace conditions or exposure to hazardous materials.

After an employee is hurt, the next step is to get medical care. The health care provider should be alerted the injury was work-related because they’ll send the bill to the employer or the worker’s compensation provider. A patient may also have to pay out-of-pocket and wait for reimbursement.

Once an injured employee gets any needed medical care, the claims process starts. The employee should report their injury to their employer, and the employer will give them a claims form. The employer then has to file a claim with their insurance provider in a certain window of time, and the employer has to report it to the state department of worker’s compensation.

After a claim is filed, the insurance company investigates it, deciding whether to approve or deny it.

If a claim is approved, the injured employee can start to receive payments. The insurance can pay out to cover medical bills, a disability benefit, a rehabilitation benefit, or if a worker is killed, death benefits. Most worker’s comp plans cover around two-thirds of an injured employee’s weekly pay.

Finally, for an employer, its claims history plays a role in their premiums. Your employer’s costs for worker’s comp insurance may go up if they file a claim, but they can’t take any action that’s retaliatory towards you because of this.

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