How to make sure that you’re safe while working
If you work in a physical, emotionally taxing, hazardous or strenuous job, you likely know someone who has been injured or suffered damage in the workplace. These damages include emotional turmoil, physical injury, or a loss of income due to the injury sustained at work. To avoid these damages, you need to know which common injuries occur in the workplace, what to do if you are involved in a workplace accident, and how to keep yourself safe at work. Read on for more information.
Common injuries at work
First, let’s look at common workplace injuries that end up becoming personal injury claims. These include but are not limited to: back and shoulder injuries, hand, knee, foot, and ankle damage, head and brain injuries, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
Most of these are physical damages, but can also lead to emotional damages, such as stress, and financial damages, if you are no longer able to do the work you could before due to the injury, or you have to take extended leave and lose out on some potential earnings.
Injuries often occur as a result of negligent or reckless leadership, or unsafe working conditions.
What to do if you are injured at work
If you sustain one of the above or any other workplace injury, you should first seek medical treatment and report the incident to your employer. Then, request a certificate of capacity from your medical provider. Finally, as soon as you can, seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer who is specialized in work cover claims.
A personal injury lawyer will be able to explain your rights and give their professional opinions about the validity of your case. If it is established that you have a case, they will help you seek workers’ compensation to cover your damages. Damages can be emotional, physical, and financial, as explained above, so think hard about all that the injury has taken from you.
If you are injured at work in Western Australia, you can claim compensation regardless of the permanence of your work. So, if you are a part-time worker, casual worker, temporary worker, a worker on commission, a trainee, an apprentice, on a work trial, or a seasonal worker on a working visa, you are eligible and should seek a good lawyer immediately following an incident.
How to stay safe
Now that you know which injuries are common in workplace incidents that lead to personal injury claims, and you know what to do if you are in a workplace accident, let’s talk about how to keep yourself safe.
If someone puts you in an unsafe situation, report it
You will need evidence that this event occurred if the person is to face scrutiny for their negligence or reckless management and you can use the report to prevent anyone else from being put in that position. Moreover, the report will provide evidence that you were put in this potion by the liable third party if their request results in your personal injury.
Say no to unsafe assignments
While it can be intimidating to refuse a direct order from a superior at work, you must protect your physical and mental health and say no to tasks that could put you in harm’s way.
For instance, if you are told to go up an unstable ladder, carry a box you cannot see over, drive in unsafe conditions or in an unfit vehicle, simply say no. You are well within your rights and should not face punishment for declining, as long as your reasoning is sound.
Do not cut corners
Do not make the mistake of cutting corners in safety practices to save time or money. The best way to stay safe is to follow official Health and Safety regulations. For example, if your company policy is to wear a hardhat at all times on site, do not ignore this because it will take you longer to go and find your protective gear. Likewise, if you know you should not drive in the weather conditions, do not ignore this because you want to make the extra money. Keep yourself safe.
This has been a brief guide to understanding workplace injuries, what to do if you are in one and how to avoid them happening. Common injuries at work involve back injuries, PTSD and head and brain damage, among others. If you have been injured at work, you should talk to a personal injury lawyer to see if you are entitled to compensation. Lastly, you should know how to protect yourself against injuries at work, and make sure you report reckless management, say no to dangerous tasks, and follow health and safety guidelines to the fullest.