Across all industries, it’s way too common for people to experience an accident in the workplace. In fact, an accident occurs once every seven seconds.
There’s a lot of confusion out there when it comes to handling these types of accidents. The victims of them often aren’t sure what to do or what counts as an accident, and the same goes for employers and even some attorneys.
If you’re feeling confused when it comes to trying to define workplace accidents, keep reading. Everything you need to know is explained down below.
How to Define Workplace Accidents
The most general definition of a workplace accident is an unplanned incident or event that leads to the injury of an employee and/or damage to a company’s property. Workplace accidents can also be broken down into a few different categories, including the following:
- Overexertion: These injuries often occur when someone is carrying or lifting a heavy item and experiences a sprain or strain as a result
- Falls: Falls can be a simple as falling down a few stairs or falling from a high landing or roof
- Slips and Trips: Slips and trips often contribute to falls, and they can lead to strains, sprains, broken bones, and various other injuries
- Falling Objects: If an object falls and hits an employee, it could cause serious head injuries and other forms of damage
- Repetitive Motion: Repetitive motion injuries include things like carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic back or shoulder pain; they’re the result of doing the same motion over and over again without sufficient rest
Of all the accidents and injuries that can take place for workers, these are the most common.
How to Prevent Workplace Accidents
It’s good for employees, employers, and legal professionals to understand the different types of accidents that can take place on a day-to-day basis. They also need to know how to prevent these accidents from occurring, though. There are quite a few steps that employers and employees can take, including the following:
Provide Proper Education
It’s up to employers to provide their workers with proper training when they’re tasked with using special equipment or performing certain tasks. They also need to talk to their workers about the potential risks associated with those pieces of equipment and tasks.
Install Proper Lighting
Employers also should make sure their workplaces are well-lit. This can help to prevent a lot of accidents, especially slips and trips.
Communicate About Safety Hazards
In the event that they notice a potential safety hazard on the job, employees ought to communicate with their supervisors and report it. That way, it can get fixed as soon as possible and the risk of injury and accident will go down.
Conduct Regular Inspections
Employers should make an effort to inspect the workplace on a regular basis. This will also help them address potential hazards right away.
Use Proper Equipment
Employees should wear proper protective equipment at all times when on the job. This includes things like hard hats and steel-toed boots for construction workers.
What to Do if You’re Involved in a Work Accident
No matter how thorough an employer is when it comes to preventing accidents, there’s still a possibility that something can go wrong while a worker’s on the job. In the event that an accident at workplace happens, here’s what employees, employers, and attorneys should do afterward:
If an employee is injured in an accident at work, they should take the following steps to minimize damage and get treated as soon as possible:
- Report the accident to their employer
- Seek medical care right away (even if the injury seems minor)
- Stay in touch with their employer to ensure an accurate workers’ compensation claim has been filed
- Save all records and information related to their accident
According to the experts at the website https://www.injuredcalltoday.com/work-accidents/, employees may also need to retain the services of a workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can help them ensure they’ve taken the proper steps and provide additional support in the event that a claim gets denied.
Employers also have specific responsibilities they must meet after an accident occurs. They include the following:
- Secure the area where the accident took place to prevent additional injuries
- File an accident report and claim with their workers’ compensation insurance provider
- Stay in touch with their employee to monitor progress
- Save all records and information related to the accident
- Look into the cause of the accident and take steps to prevent similar ones from happening in the future
It’s also important for employers to be aware of the workers’ compensation laws in their state and ensure they’re abiding by them. This includes making sure they’re not taking any actions that could put the injured employee at a disadvantage and make themselves vulnerable to a lawsuit (cutting hours, docking pay, etc.).
Attorneys need to be aware of the responsibilities of both the employee and the employer. That way, they can ensure that their client has a solid case, and they can make sure that the employee’s employer isn’t doing anything that could hurt their client in the long run.
The more information they have, the easier it will be for them to support their client, too, and make sure they receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries, as well as any time they may have had to take off work.
Get Prepared for Workplace Accidents Today
Hopefully, after reading through this guide, you have a clearer understanding of how to define workplace accidents. It’s not enough to just define the terms, though. You also need to know how to handle this type of accident should it occur.
Whether you’re a worker, an employer, or an attorney planning to specialize in workers’ compensation law, this information will help you know what to do in the event of an accident and how to make sure you’re client is taken care of in the proper way.
Need more workers’ compensation law information? We have lots of helpful articles and resources available on our site. Check them out today.