Unless you’re unemployed or work from home, chances are you are exposed to some form of hazard at work. Machines, forklifts, high places, moving parts, scalding hot coffee pots — almost all of these are potential safety risks in the workplace. Your employer is required by law to make you aware of these hazards and do their best to ensure danger is kept at bay. But inevitably, employers sometimes shirk responsibilities and employees forget hazards exist. The hope is that neither of these happen, but the occurrence of one or both can often call for the first aid kit, or worse.
If you are injured in the work place, the first thing to do is get help. Whatever the degree of injury, seek medical assistance first. Depending on the nature of your work, there may or may not be a first aid provider on site. The next step all depends on the severity of injury. If you pull the paper from the printer too fast and score a paper cut, well, your treatment stops at a band aid. But if your injury is more severe, you’ll need to file for workers’ compensation and possibly even consult a lawyer.
Knowing when to consult a lawyer can be tough, but doing so can be vital in ensuring the sum paid for neglect matches the severity of injury. The following are a few scenarios in which legal consultation is advised:
- The injury is severe enough to cause a hospital visit.
- The injury prevents performance of daily duties.
- The case is denied by either the employer or the Workers Comp Insurance Company.
- There is reason to believe the award is disproportionate to the severity of injury.
- It is believed the treatment will consist of more than one visit.
- You lose your job as a result of your injury
- You fear dealing with any of this yourself.
These are just a few reasons why it may be wise to consult a lawyer. Work place injuries are not something to take lightly. So, in summary: be aware of hazardous places in your work environment and don’t be afraid to reach out for help.