Injuries caused by activities linked to work are sadly a very prevalent reality in any workplace, particularly in certain sectors. Global figures state an estimated 2.3 million workers are affected by work-related injuries or illnesses each year. With these sobering numbers, it is important for prevention measures to be implemented in the workplace and activities around work. More than this, awareness for both employers and employees needs to be raised on how to make work safer and what to do if faced with a work injury. If you are currently sitting with an injury that you obtained as a result of work, this is for you too. Let us look at what can be done.
How Are Workers Protected?
Labor laws exist to protect the health and safety of workers. These will be specific to the region where the business is registered. It may be the case that the business’s compliance with these laws is where the shortfall occurred. If this sounds familiar, then rest assured that there are ways to access help. Take for instance the state of Kentucky in the United States, where a Kentucky workers’ compensation attorney would look at your case by assessing whether the relevant safety measures were in place, and how the injury has impacted your functioning. If it was found that the business was not adhering to safe labor practices, and there was cause for payout, you would be assisted in claiming compensation.
The Impact Of Work Injuries
If an injury takes place either on the worksite or while an employee engages in a work task, this will have an impact on both the individual and business. In terms of the person injured, this will have an obvious effect on his or her physical health with potentially complicated and long term consequences. A work accident would likely also result in a period of absenteeism or potential job loss, depending on the severity and nature of the injury.
There will likely be financial costs for the individual implicated, and possibly loss of income due to days missed or inability to perform the job. Again, depending on the type of injury, there might be ongoing costs involved such as rehabilitation. With an employee away from work for any period, the business will likely experience a decrease in productivity due to loss of manpower. Depending on the laws wherein the incident takes place and whether there was an insurance policy, the business will also incur costs to pay for the individual’s medical or related bills.
After such an accident takes place, there may be some interpersonal hostility or resentment between employee and employer. An example might be a situation where a member of staff obtained an injury on the job and feels the employer did not do enough before, during and after the event. This resulted in heightened stress levels for all those involved.
What Does This Mean For Employees?
If you are an employee or were previously injured on the job, you must become familiarized with the labor regulations in your area, as well as your business’s adherence to them. This is particularly relevant if you work in a business where there is a high accident risk. Once you are more familiar with your employee rights, you should feel more empowered to assert them should you ever have the need. It would be wise to open up a conversation with the relevant managers about how to improve protocols to prevent future incidents. If you have already encountered a work accident resulting in injury, and your employers were unsupportive, you may well be entitled to seek legal counsel to obtain compensation.
What Does This Mean For Businesses?
It is a legal and ethical requirement for businesses to ensure they maintain a safe working environment for their employees. Therefore, business owners must take all the necessary precautions to ensure the correct standards are in place. It might also be sensible to ensure the business has a comprehensive insurance plan that covers employees, should an unavoidable accident happen.
All businesses that employ staff need to conform to the necessary local labor laws. In doing so, potential work accidents with traumatic, expensive, and long-lasting consequences can be avoided. Employees also need to take responsibility in holding businesses accountable, as well as advocating for their rights to seek safe work conditions.