Stephen Hasner | Workplace Accidents | December 27, 2016
Unfortunately, workplace injuries frequently occur in Georgia and across the country.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that nearly three million on-the-job injuries are reported to employers every year. Many more injuries likely go unreported.
In Georgia, injured workers must report their injuries, and they have the right to receive benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation laws. With that said, pursuing full and fair benefits can be challenging.
If you were hurt on the job in Atlanta, Savannah or in any of the surrounding communities, you should seek immediate assistance from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.
The following are some of the most common injuries that workers face in Georgia:
Employers often fail to take the risk of fall injuries seriously. Indeed, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) reports that lack of fall protection was the most frequently cited safety standard violation last year. Scaffolding violations and ladder violations are also in the top ten. Employers need to do more to protect workers from the risk of falls.
Overexertion injuries also lead to many workers’ compensation claims each year. Employees need to take care to avoid overexerting themselves on the job. Likewise, employers must refrain from encouraging, or forcing, employees to overexert themselves. There are many specific kinds of overexertion injuries. One of the most common examples is a workplace back injury. These can occur when a worker lifts or pulls too much weight.
Slipping and Tripping Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are another major problem at worksites in Georgia and around the country. Employees should always take care to be sure that they know what is on the floor around them. Additionally, employers should have clear protocols for cleaning up spills and keeping walkways free from tripping hazards.
A reaction injury is similar to a slip and fall injury, except there is no actual fall involved. Usually, these injuries occur when an employee trips on something and manages to keep upright. However, in doing so, the worker may injure a joint or a muscle. Sometimes, these injuries do not look bad at first sight, but they can be incredibly severe and even totally debilitating.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car accidents are a major safety problem in Georgia, and it is no different for people on the job. In fact, the Southeast Information Office for the BLS reports that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of fatal workplace injuries in Georgia. Recovering full and fair compensation for a workplace vehicle accident can be especially complex because there are many different factors involved with these type of claims. Victims must have a qualified attorney by their side.
Those who work with heavy machinery and other industrial equipment face some unique risks from those machines. It is important that employees are properly dressed in the appropriate protective gear when using these machines. Further, employees should be extensively trained before using dangerous machinery.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Not all workplace injuries are caused by one-time accidents. While many on-the-job injuries are acute, others occur slowly over time. These long-term injuries are called repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) or repetitive trauma injuries (RTIs). They occur because of long-term overexertion of certain body parties. In Georgia, victims of workplace RSIs are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, establishing the existence, severity and cause of these injuries can be challenging. Victims of RSIs need to work with a workers’ compensation lawyer who has seen their type of injury before.
Five Ways to Protect Yourself From Accidents in the Workplace
Here are our suggestions for keeping yourself safe on the job in Georgia:
Workplace accidents can occur in many different ways. The single best way to protect yourself is to keep your eyes open. Both workers and employers should always have safety at the forefront of their minds.
Wear the appropriate clothing and safety gear.
If you are required to wear certain clothing or safety equipment on the job, please always keep those items on. Sometimes workers take off certain things, like eye protection, for small periods of time each day. Taking safety gear off for even a moment can put you at risk.
Communicate with your supervisor.
Good communication with your manager can go a long way towards reducing on-the-job injury risk. You should always ensure that you know the risks of doing any task on the job. Further, if you feel that there is a risk that your employer has not considered, you should inform the employer. You have a legal right to have an open conversation with your manager about worker safety.
Know your training.
One of the best ways to avoid workplace risks is to ensure that you only engage in jobs and tasks for which you are properly trained. Your employer has a legal duty to provide you and your co-workers with adequate training. It is the employer’s responsibility to do so. It is your responsibility to take this training to heart and be sure that you truly understand how to perform your tasks in a safe manner.
Never take shortcuts.
We all understand the impulse to take shortcuts. You get busy and you are looking for a way to catch up on your tasks. However, you must never take shortcuts when it comes to safety. The health and safety of workers must be given priority over everything else. Whether it is skipping safety checks or using an improper tool to get a job done, shortcuts should be avoided. Protect yourself by taking your time and following proper safety protocols.
Do Not Go It Alone: Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help You
Georgia workers’ compensation claims are complex. There is no reason to go through this process alone.
At Hasner Law, PC, our team handles all work injury cases on a contingency fee basis. We do not charge our clients upfront costs, and we do not collect a fee unless we help you to recover your benefits.
To learn more about what we can do for you, please contact our Atlanta, GA office or Savannah, GA office today to schedule your free initial consultation.