The workplace should be a haven for employees. However, many are injured due to the negligence of their employer or co-workers. Three important steps must be taken when you have been injured at work.
Seek Medical Attention
First, seek medical attention immediately after being injured. After being provided emergency treatment, see a doctor for further care and advice. Your doctor will decide if you can return to work if you need to change your job duties or require time off.
Inform Your Superior
Secondly, notify your supervisor of the injury as soon as possible. Your employer needs to be aware of any injuries to prevent additional injuries and maintain a safe work environment for everyone.
Get the Report Done
Thirdly, file an incident report with the Occupational Health Safety Act (OHSA) immediately after notifying your supervisor. This report is required under OHSA to file an Incident Investigation Report with WSIB, which some injuries may require.
Contact a Lawyer
Your employer or their insurance company will likely try to keep an injury claim low by refusing WSIB coverage, paying for time missed from work, or providing a settlement that is much less than what you deserve. Don’t let this happen to you! An experienced personal injury lawyer can help those injured in the workplace fight for their rights and full compensation.
Safety Risks in the Workplace
Many factors contribute to workplace injuries, such as lack of safety training, insufficient supervision, and infrastructure-related risks. In addition to these common hazards, some jobs require certain equipment to provide a safe environment for workers.
Here are some safety risks you should watch out for at work:
Exposure to Chemicals
Some jobs expose workers to chemicals that can cause serious damage if mishandled. For instance, construction laborers may be exposed to harmful fumes while painting or welding beams, launderers may breathe in dangerous chemical particles while working with fabrics, and even food manufacturers could encounter hazardous substances when dealing with chemicals found in cleaners and pesticides.
Using the proper safety equipment and gear is one of the best ways to avoid hazardous chemicals. This includes using personal protective equipment (PPE), gas masks, air-purifying respirators, coveralls, gloves, and more. Also, ensure that your work area is properly ventilated by leaving doors open or installing ventilation systems.
Exposure to Noise
Jobs that involve a lot of noise, such as carpentry and mining, have a high risk of causing permanent hearing loss. To combat this while working, always wear ear protection. If you have trouble hearing someone talking close by, you may be at risk of developing a dangerous case of noise-induced hearing loss.
Workplace Ergonomic Issues
A common cause of hand, wrist, and back injuries in the workplace is poor workplace ergonomics. Ergonomics refers to how well your workspace fits your body and supports your productivity. For instance, you may be hunched over a computer all day which could cause problems to your back.
To avoid this, make sure your work area is ergonomically sound by keeping an appropriate distance between you and the computer monitor, using a chair with good lumbar support, keeping wrists straight when typing, keeping both feet flat on the ground, etc. If necessary, use wrist guards or elbow pads to protect yourself while performing tasks that could cause injury.
Unsafe Tools and Equipment
Many workers in less-than-ideal work environments use faulty or unsafe equipment. For example, a construction worker may be working with a tool that does not follow OSHA standards to prevent injuries. Always inspect your tools and equipment before using them to ensure they are safe for use.
Another common tool that can lead to workplace injuries is the ladder. Every year, thousands of workers are injured while climbing ladders and performing other tasks. This is because it only takes a few seconds for your body to lose its balance and cause an injury. To avoid this, always make sure you have something to hold onto (such as a railing) and try to stay in the center of the ladder.
While many employers make every effort to keep their workplaces safe, some workplaces are more dangerous than others. If you find yourself suffering from workplace injuries such as hearing loss, chemical exposure, or chronic pain due to unsafe tools and equipment, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for assistance.
Contact a physician right away for treatments for hearing loss, chemical exposure, or chronic pain due to workplace injuries. You need immediate medical attention to keep the situation from getting worse.