The safety of employee has not always been the same throughout history. In ancient Egypt, for example, workers who built the pyramids had to work under severe heat and with many hazards. For their hard work which was under constant danger, their compensations were bread and beer. Let’s not even try to delve into the workers’ safety during the middle ages.
Even since then, some countries right now are still quite far away from good employee safety. Luckily, there is some progress made with all the new legal binding the employers must-have. Even though that is all nice on paper, these laws are often overlooked. In order to make them work, you must know a thing or two about them and how to enforce them.
Knowing if you are eligible for compensation
Different laws apply to different states, so making an entire compilation of these laws would be an enormous ordeal. The best place to start from is by checking if your employer has compensation insurance. One of the most asked questions found in New Jersey workers’ compensation FAQs is whether their employer offers this kind of insurance. The answer to this is that all New Jersey employers are required to have compensation insurance. Again, it might differ from country to country, so check it out. It is your right and this information should be easily obtainable from your employer.
If the injury occurred while you were intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs, the probability of getting compensated is very low. For this reason, when you get in an accident, you can expect to be tested for blood alcohol levels and for drugs. Some other instances where you can not expect to get compensated are if you get in a fight with another coworker. These cases are pretty complicated so be cautious of them.
If eligible, you will need to file a report
Unfortunately, everything always must be done through bureaucracy. Try to report on this injury as soon as possible. You will not have to do most of the paperwork. The employer’s insurance company will do it, but they need your details and details about the injury in order to fill the report. The later you get on this, the lesser the chances of getting compensated are. Not only that, the process might prolong and get more complicated.
You can not be fired while on a leave due to injury
One of the reasons why people are scared to report injuries is the fear of having your work contract terminated. This is not something that your employer can legally do. While you are away due to injury, you can expect to keep your job and get fully compensated during your leave. Do not be afraid of reporting on injuries and encourage others to do so.
Preventing accidents in the future
The accident that occurred was a cause of unsafe working conditions. When you get back to work, you will want to ensure that these accidents do not happen to you, or your coworkers again. Most employees are afraid to report unsafe conditions in fear of angering their boss. Working under safe conditions is your right everywhere, no matter what state. You can always call upon this right and you can make a change.
One of the other rights that you are entitled to, is the right to have safety equipment. Some employers will try to cut this out as an unnecessary cost. Do not fall for this, and if the equipment you have is insufficient or faulty, you can request to get a new one.
Take breaks during work
One of the most common causes of injury is working while exhausted. When you are not feeling fully rested you are more prone to making a mistake. Not because you are incompetent, it happens to everyone under those conditions. Make sure to enforce your right for breaks, especially if you are feeling unwell or need to go to the bathroom.
Your safety at work is very important and is something you are entitled to. It has not been that way until recently, and things are still getting sorted out. The key is to be persistent and use the laws that are written. First off, you will need to check how this law works in your state. If eligible for compensation, and the chances of that are high, you will need to file a report.
Do not be afraid of reporting the injury, as nothing bad can happen from doing so. Once you get back to work, do your best to enforce safe working conditions. You are entitled to them, to having safety equipment, and breaks. Without all of these, you and your coworkers can expect to encounter safety issues in the future, and that does not need to happen.
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