Avoiding an accident at work means more than just carrying a first aid kit in your car and knowing where the fire exits are. Below are some tips on staying safe on the job and what to do if you are injured in the workplace.
Avoiding an Accident
- If you are working outdoors, wear the appropriate clothing. This means during the winter you might want to consider purchasing long underwear while in the summer be sure to pack a hat and plenty of sunscreen. And don’t forget the water!
- Invest in proper safety and protection equipment including steel toed boots and a safety helmet if working in construction. If you work in an office, you may need to invest in comfortable shoes, an ergonomically friendly chair and compression stockings to avoid blood clots.
- Furthermore, if you are feeling unwell or extra tired, take the day off. Fatigue can be a serious killer on the job. You will not only be risking your own safety, but also the safety of others.
Protecting Yourself and your Future
Injured at work? If you have had a work related accident, make sure you follow these guidelines for filing a report:
- Make sure you report any injury, no matter how small and silly it seems. Even a paper cut can lead to an infected finger causing serious pain. Some work-related injuries will not show up for hours, days or even weeks later, such as whiplash and back pain. It is best to report everything just in case. Don’t be embarrassed or worried about what the boss will think – it is against the law to avoid filing out an accident report and against the law to fire someone for being injured.
- Take pictures of your injury and where the accident took place. Most people will not carry a camera to work with them but if you happen to have a mobile phone, snap a few close ups of the scene. Any evidence can be useful down the road.
- If others were around to witness the accident, ask them to write down what they saw. These witnesses may be needed later if you take the case to court.
- Keep all the receipts from medical visits, prescription and pain medication, rehabilitation fees and even fuel receipts from driving to and from the hospital and clinics. You might want to photocopy the originals in case they fade over time.
Worker’s Compensation Attorney and Advice
Many people will assume that they do not need to speak to an attorney about a work related incident. After all, your company will have worker’s compensation which will take care of the problem right? In some instances, this is true, but, in other instances, this unfortunately is not the case. Worker’s compensation only covers a certain amount of time and takes care of some, but certainly not all of the expenses.
If you cannot work, worker’s compensation may pay a percentage of your regular wage while you recover, but what about the additional duties you need done – who will pick up the kids from school and watch them on the weekends? Who will keep the house clean if you are in the hospital? Who will drive you to your rehabilitation meetings if you are unable to walk or drive? In most instances, the additional expenses incurred from a work related issue are not covered under insurance.
This is why it is important to seek legal advice from a qualified Minneapolis workers compensation attorney.