With more than 3 million people suffering workplace injuries and work-related illnesses, it`s important to know your rights. Let`s take a look at some statistics.
· over 4,000 workers in the U.S. are killed on the job every year
· more than 3 million suffer serious injuries from which they may never recover
· approximately 27 million working days are lost over workplace injury or work-related illness
· work-related injuries and illnesses cost society several billions every year
The most common work-related accidents and injuries are as follows.
Fall on Same Level
This type of work-related injury refers to falls on same level surfaces and falls without elevation. It includes also slipping/tripping injuries that pertain to falls on slippery and wet floors or trips over floor mat or something else lying on the floor. Employers should have a safety guideline to ensure that floors are promptly cleaned and no dangerous debris is present.
Falling from Heights
This type of injury happens when falling from an elevated area such as staircases, ladders and roofs. These accidents can be reduced or prevented by the use of appropriate personal protection gear and employee diligence.
Falling Object Injuries
Objects dropped by another person or fallen from shelves can cause significant injuries. The common outcome of this type of accident is head injury.
Machine entanglement is a common type of injury occurring in a factory where machinery or heave equipment is used. Fingers, hair, clothing and shoes may become caught by machinery causing injury or worse. Protective equipment and diligence are necessary to avoid such kind of incidents.
Among other common workplace accidents and injures we can also name overexertion injuries, repetitive motion injuries, bodily reaction, assault/violence acts and others. Some of the most common work-related injuries include sprains and strains, back, neck and head injury. Among less common illnesses/injuries we can mention deafness, occupational asthma, dermatitis and vibration white finger.
Who Is Responsible for Health and Safety at Work?
Employers have a legal duty to protect their workers, provide paid sick leave and compensation for work-related injuries. They are entitled to take care of the health and safety of their workers. Employees, in their turn, must also take reasonable care over their own health and safety, according to employment law.
Reporting accidents at work – employment law
Employers are entitled to report dangerous incidents at work, work-related diseases and accidents to the Health and Safety Executive. They must report dangerous incidents (e.g. collapse of scaffolding), major injuries (e.g. broken leg), any other injury as a result of which an employee can`t do his/her normal work for more than a week, etc.
Recording workplace accidents
Any injury at work must be recorded in the employer`s “accident book”. It is done for the benefit of workers, as it provides an essential record of what happened in case they need time off or want to claim compensation. Recording incidents and accidents at workplace also helps employers to take timely steps to prevent workplace accidents in future.
Making a workplace injury claim
If you are injured while at work, or suffer a work related injury, and you think that your employer is at fault, you are legally entitled to make a claim for compensation under employment law. Claim should be made within three years of the date of the accident. If you prefer to sue your employer, be notified that the goal of legal damages is to put you in the position you would he in had the accident not occurred. Contact a personal injury lawyer to represent your interests.