Accidents Can Happen Anywhere. Are You Prepared?

Nancy Anderson
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Employees have the right to work in a safe environment. When workplace accidents happen, some employees may be entitled to compensation depending on the circumstances. Review this brief guide to your rights as an employee and what to do if you're in an accident at the office.

Federal Law

Federal law stipulates that employers must provide you with facilities and job sites that are free of any known health hazards and safety issues. You have the right to discuss your concerns about a safe environment or workplace accidents without fear of reprisal since companies can face lawsuits for failing to follow federal law. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) protects anyone who files a complaint with the agency while the federal government ascertains any safety violations or problems.

Arm yourself with knowledge of other rights regarding workplace accidents that involve your own personal safety. Your employer must give you any safety gear required at the job site, whether that means a simple anti-slip mat on the floor in front of the break room sink or a safety harness for when you climb up a 10-story scaffold. You have the right to be trained in your native language, which helps avoid any misunderstandings or misrepresentations about safety on the job. You also have the right to examine test results regarding workplace safety, illness reports and injury records to help you ascertain whether you're safe at work.

Hurt at Work

If you're ever hurt at work, you have certain protocols to follow regarding workplace accidents. Report the injury to your supervisor immediately, if possible. For severe accidents, call 911. You and your employer should make written reports documenting the accident, while a doctor ascertains your physical health.

After a certain time, depending on the state, you may receive workers' compensation. This benefit puts money in your pocket while you recover from any injuries you sustained due to an accident. Employers have claim forms at the office, and you may not receive benefits until you complete the necessary paperwork. The employer's insurance might also provide extra compensation for any trauma experienced due to the accident.

Complicated Case

Beyond workers' compensation for workplace accidents, you may be entitled to additional compensation if your injuries happened due to negligence on the part of someone in authority at your employer. This may make your claim more complicated, but you deserve the right to fair compensation if your injury prevents you from coming back to work right away. An experienced personal injury lawyer may need to gather documents, get the opinion of another doctor and examine your case.

You should never be afraid to file claims for benefits at work if you're hurt. Workplace accidents happen, some even under the safest circumstances. Have you ever been a part of a safety team at the office? Sound off in the comments below.


Photo courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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