In labor intensive jobs it can feel like injuries are a part of life. While heavy equipment and manual labor are more suited to injury than stationary work, the fact is that many injuries are avoidable with the right training and equipment, regardless what type of work you do. It’s an employer’s job to make your workplace as safe as it can be, in all fields of employment.
There were 65,000 reported injuries and illnesses due to work-related causes in the state of Maryland in 2015, enough injuries to populate a small city. Sometimes these injuries are severe, life-changing and even fatal. It affects all industries. While jobs with heavy machinery often field more injuries than other types of work, almost any career runs the risk of injury in a vehicle accident, for example.
Exceptions can be deadly
Thanks to organizations like OSHA, workplace injuries and illnesses are down significantly since they started tracking them in 1972. While safety equipment and technology play a role, the best way for a workplace to keep safe is to hire the right people and to have the right attitude.
It’s not hard to tell when your companies values production over your safety. If they prioritize speed over setup, or are willing to make “one-time exceptions” to safety protocol it sends a message that the task is what matters most. Everyone understands that time is money, but employee safety and serious injuries risk even greater cost.
When injuries occur
While any injury is bad news, there is good news to help workers recover. Workers’ Compensation is a program available for anyone injured on the job. Through Workers’ Compensation, eligible workers can seek reimbursement for time way from work, including coverage of medical bills and payment for long-term disability. In the event of severe injury, the program also covers rehabilitation and job training costs under certain circumstances.
The program sounds simple on the surface: injured workers deserve help and should not have to pay expenses out of their own pocket. However, due to the bureaucratic nature of the program and the many types of injuries or illness that can occur, many do not receive the full benefits they are entitled to. Whenever injury occurs on the job, it is vital for your long-term health and for your career that you get the full coverage you deserve.