NATIONAL REPORT—Workplace injuries can prove to be very serious and even fatal if they are not tended to properly. Safety guidelines and policies are not enough to prevent accidents, and what is needed is to encourage employees and staff members to identify unsafe behaviors and make well-informed safety decisions every day. New technologies have significantly changed the workplace conditions as the number of workplace injuries has decreased over the years.
While the presence of aluminum scaffolding and other such products makes things easier, the risk is still there.
Human labor is being replaced with machinery and many industries are taking precautions such as mechanical interference to create as much distance between the employee and the machine as possible, so direct contact is minimal. They are also including user-friendly machines that make it easier for employees to carry out day-to-day functions, such as heavy lifting.
While this may play a role in reducing workplace injuries, it may also result in new kinds of accidents for which new safety measures need to be incorporated.
There are several industries that are more prone to accidents than others. Most accidents occur in the construction, oil, chemical, and manufacturing industries.
It is essential that you are aware of the procedure and protocols to follow if an accident occurs. Moreover, know your rights in such a scenario.
Here are five important things to know about workplace accidents:
- They are preventable—Employers are supposed to train all employees and new recruits on safety standards and ensure that they understand what safety precautions to take in case of an emergency. Accidents are very much preventable if employees follow the safety regulations to a T. These standards are not to be toyed with as most injuries are caused when employees deviate from the standard safety procedures. Even a simple safety instruction such as “caution: wet floor” should be adhered to, as falling is the most common workplace injury.
- Your compensation insurance covers any injury—As a worker, your compensation insurance will cover any injury, no matter how it happened or how intense it was. You should immediately file a worker’s compensation claim if you experienced an injury. However, it must not be due to your own fault or negligence. It is also important that you document the injury, including how it happened as you may have to submit evidence when you apply for compensation. Click photos if necessary and keep all medical documents handy as well since you may be required to submit a doctor’s certificate, too.
- Most Common Injuries—Some of the most common workplace injuries include: trips, slips, and falls; muscle strains; getting injured due to falling objects; repetitive strain; collisions; and cuts. While some of these injuries cause temporary pain, some may lead to long-term injuries and serious consequences. The compensation you receive depends largely on the nature of the injury and its effect on your mental and physical wellbeing, in addition to future earning capacity.
- Report unsafe conditions—Many injuries can be avoided if people are quick to identify and complain about an unsafe work condition or environment that they encounter. Employers are legally required to provide a safe and secure working environment and you should take full advantage of that. Do not hesitate to make a suggestion or recommendation on how to make the environment safe and secure. If your employer does not take immediate action, you are also allowed to file a grievance application with a higher authority. Neglect is the root cause of many workplace injuries. Employers, though often well-aware of the risk of associated with poorly maintained equipment, may continue to endorse it because it saves on cost and is not a priority to them.
- Think and act quickly—It doesn’t matter how well prepared you are, it’s not possible to avoid workplace injuries altogether since accidents can occur to even the most careful people. It is best to be well-prepared and aware of what you will need to do as medical emergencies need immediate attention. Give the victim first aid, document the incident, and inform your superior as soon as possible. Thinking and acting quickly can make a lot of difference.