Work injuries are common, and you may think about them as experiences that only happen to those who work in dangerous environments such as mines or places where you operate heavy machinery. This isn’t always the case, though. Work injuries can happen anywhere in the workplace, and it can happen to you if you and your company aren’t careful. Here’s an employee’s guide to work injuries.
International Labor Organization statistics indicate that there are an average of 374 million cases of work-related illnesses and non-fatal work injuries annually. This is in addition to an estimate of more than 2.78 million fatalities from work-related accidents annually. While countries are using a sizable amount of their resources to tackle the economic cost of ensuring a safe and healthy work environment, you have your own part to play in ensuring you are efficiently using company policies to make yourself safe at work.
Employers: An Obligation to Keep You Safe
Employers do, in fact, have an obligation and a duty to make sure the workplace is safe from accidents and health risks. While accidents can happen to anyone at anytime, employers are still obliged to make sure the environment you’re working in is substantially safe from accidents as much as possible.
- Safety measures include making sure equipment and signage always exist in areas of risk, and that employees are taught and briefed on how to use these signs and equipment.
- When there are machines involved in work, employees must be taught how to use these as well.
- In terms of disaster preparedness, there should be protocols involving who leads what, and how to evacuate safely. There must be regular drills.
- Likewise, employers are responsible for making sure any accidents, diseases, and injuries related to work are reported because they have a duty that requires them to investigate such incidents. This allows them to improve upon safety measures to avoid unsafe situations in the future.
Employees: An Obligation to Report and Follow Guidelines
Just because your employers hired you to perform a duty doesn’t mean you should conduct your work willy nilly. In the same way that an employer has an obligation to keep you safe, you have an obligation to keep yourself safe by following protocols your employers have set themselves.
- These include making sure you report accidents and injuries that occur to you as a result of workplace operations, whether they are serious injuries or not. These include major releases of dangerous substances, blasting or diving accidents, major structural damages such as collapses, critical injuries, or worse… fatalities.
- These reports are called by a wide variety of names, but they essentially make sure employers know just who the injured party is, when, where, and how the incident occurred, and other details they should be aware of. These reports should always be made in case there are requests for such a report, if an employee is unable to perform their duties due to an injury, if an employee is in need or has received treatment due to an injury, or if they have lost consciousness.
Insurance Is an Option
When it comes to work injuries, it’s perhaps an undeniable reality hat accidents can happen to anyone. However, just because this is the case doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself. Aside from the things above, you have to consider checking your status in terms of insurance options.
You may ask your employer or your human resources division if work offers coverage for you in terms of accidents and injuries in the workplace. Some workplaces have this option for employees.
If you can afford it, you may also want to add additional work coverage to your existing insurance plan. If not, you may want to consider getting insurance itself. This is especially important if you’re part of the few people in your family who are providing for everyone financially. If something happens to you at work, your finances might be in danger, so it’s better to be covered if the opportunity presents itself.
Remember, when it comes to work injuries, try to be as aware as possible of the nature of your injuries and how you got them. Understanding them and reporting them as soon as possible can aid you in making sure your company is able to deal with your concerns better. Click here to learn more about this specific subject matter.