As a workers’ compensation lawyer understands all too well, workplace injuries are common. Many injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the first-aid box, but others are serious. Some workplace injuries require major medical attention, including surgery, physical rehabilitation, and more. Some workplace injuries are fatal. A skilled lawyer is there to help protect those employees who are injured at work. If this describes you, the workers’ compensation lawyers may be able to help you, particularly if the workers’ compensation benefits offered to you are grossly unfair. Most attorneys even offer injured employees a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer to help them determine their next step.
In the meantime, here are five tips to help you avoid getting hurt at work:
1. Alert your employer immediately if you detect a hazardous condition in the workplace. Your employer has a legal and ethical obligation to maintain a safe working environment. As an employee, you have the same obligation to notify them if a hazardous condition develops. Whether that’s a broken piece of machinery, spilled liquid on the floor, or another potentially dangerous situation, notify them promptly so they can address it. To further protect yourself, take written notes of the situation, the name of the person you notified, and the date and time you notified them. In case they do not address the hazardous condition within a reasonable amount of time, you can later provide your notes as evidence in case you are injured by that hazardous condition.
2. Participate in on-the-job safety training offered by your employer. Your employer is obligated by federal safety regulations to provide the necessary training to ensure workplace safety. The nature and extent of that training will vary considerably based on the nature of the job and the potential hazards associated with it. However, if you do not take the training and are subsequently injured, it can make it more difficult to make a solid case for a lawsuit if the workers’ compensation benefits they provide are inadequate.
3. Wear the appropriate safety gear supplied by your employer. If your employer does not supply you with the mandated and proper safety gear, or if it is defective, you may be at risk for sustaining a serious or fatal injury. Report the situation to your supervisor immediate, and take written notes of the situation, the name of the person you notified, and the date and time you notified them.
4. Take mandated rest breaks. The duration and frequency of breaks that you are allowed to take will depend on the industry, nature of the job, and the state in which you are located.
5. Know your rights. If your employer asks you to do something that you feel is unsafe, you have the legal right to say no. This may not guarantee that you can keep your job, but again, that will depend on the circumstances.
Contact one of the best workers’ compensation attorneys West Palm Beach can recommend without delay if you would like to know more about how a skilled professional can help you if you were injured in the workplace.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers’ compensation.