Workplace Injury Prevention | What You Need To Know

Jan 10

Workplace safety has come a long way in the past few decades, but more work remains to be done. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indiana had approximately 3.2 workplace illnesses or injuries in 2021 per 100 workers. Fortunately, there are precautions that employers and employees can take to reduce the number of workplace injuries. However, if you were hurt on the job by a third party recently, a Blackburn Romey work injury attorney may be able to help you get benefits for your losses.

 

About The Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act

If you work in Indiana, you should understand the state’s worker’s comp laws in case you ever have a work-related injury. Most employers in Indiana are mandated to cover employees with workers’ compensation insurance, including minors and temporary employees. The state can assess penalties against employers that do not pay for workers’ compensation insurance.

Indiana workers’ comp law limits what an injured worker can receive in a workers’ comp claim. If your company’s insurance provider approves your workplace injury, you can receive these benefits:

  • Two-thirds of your average weekly earnings during the period your doctor orders you not to work.
  • Compensation for permanent partial impairment or partial disability that is recognized by the workers’ comp insurance company.
  • Compensation for medical expenses to medical providers that the insurance company authorizes. You may also be reimbursed for out-of-pocket costs, including mileage and medication if you travel outside the county for medical care.
  • If your loved one died in a workplace accident, you could be entitled to funeral expenses and additional death benefits. Depending on the cause of the accident, it may be possible to sue a third party in a wrongful death lawsuit. For instance, if a forklift malfunctioned in the warehouse and killed your spouse, you could file a wrongful death claim against the product manufacturer.

If you are injured on the job, you should report the injury promptly to your employer. While you can handle your own case, many injured workers find that hiring an Indiana work injury attorney results in more compensation than they would have gotten on their own.

Your attorney can fight for the most compensation and resolve disagreements between you and your company. A skilled attorney can prove the full extent of your losses and injuries, which may lead to better compensation. Most work injury attorneys only get paid if there is a settlement in the workers’ comp case. Injured parties do not typically pay out-of-pocket legal expenses.

 

How To Prevent Workplace Injuries As An Employee

Knowing that you can receive workers’ compensation in Indiana if you are hurt at work is helpful. But of course, it is better to avoid being injured in the first place. Below are some ways that workers can prevent injuries in the workplace.

  1. Always Be Alert At Work
  2. Be Aware Of Safety And Education
  3. Use PPE
  4. Keep Your Work Area Clean
  5. Obey Safety Signs

 

Always Be Alert At Work

Your employer must provide you with a safe workplace, but you can avoid some accidents by always being aware of your surroundings. There can be severe accidents if you are tired, distracted, or lack spatial awareness in certain work environments. For example, if you work in a warehouse, you should always be aware of any large equipment used and pay attention to what is happening around you.

 

Be Aware Of Safety And Education

If you work in a hazardous environment, your employer should provide regular safety training. It is important to pay close attention during these training sessions because safety experts report that effective training is usually more important than policy. When workers understand the dangers in their workplace, they can avoid situations that may lead to serious injury.

 

Use PPE

Your employer should provide you with PPE if your type of work requires protection. Make sure you use it according to the safety regulations in place. For example, you may be required in a workshop to wear gloves, a helmet, and a face mask to avoid injury and illness.

 

Keep Your Work Area Clean

Just keeping your work area clean and well-organized can prevent many accidents. That is why proper cleanup at the end of every day or shift should be part of your routine. Performing regular cleanups can keep your area free of clutter, spills, wiring, and other things that can cause injuries.

 

Obey Safety Signs

Your employer should provide clear signage that helps to keep workers safe and avoid accidents. Make sure that you and other workers obey safety signs to avoid serious workplace accidents.

 

How To Avoid Workplace Injuries As An Employer

You can also do many things as an employer to minimize workplace injuries. These include:

 

Engage Management And Workers

Businesses are usually the most successful at enhancing workplace safety when employees and management work together towards that goal. Responsibility for maintaining a safe workplace should be everyone’s job, and certain managers and employees should be assigned to monitoring and improving workplace safety programs.

 

Reduce Hazards

As a company, identifying and knowing about hazardous infrastructure, practices, and equipment is not enough. When a workplace safety issue is identified, management should focus on removing it, adding additional safety measures, or altering workplace operations. This is especially critical on construction sites and similar worksites.

 

Implement More Training

Employees should receive updated safety training often and understand how to identify safety risks. Also, workplace safety training should be part of the employee hiring process, and you should offer updated training often. Also, you should consider having first-aid training so that your employees know how to respond if there is a workplace accident.

 

Respond And Improve

Encouraging workplace safety never stops; it’s always an ongoing process. So, you should regularly review and enhance your safety program, especially if there is an accident or near miss. Workers should be encouraged to report any new hazards they have seen so that management can respond quickly.

 

How to Know You Need A Work Injury Attorney

Suppose you’re injured at work and reported the incident to your company, but you seem to have trouble getting the benefits you deserve. The following scenarios are common tactics employers use to avoid paying workers’ comp claims. If you suspect you’re getting the runaround, you should have your case reviewed by an attorney:

 

There Are Delays In Processing Your Claim

After the injury, notify your employer immediately. Once you have, the employer must contact their insurance company and file the claim. If your company drags its feet, this can prevent you from getting benefits on time. If you have not gotten prompt assistance from your employer and their insurer, talk to a lawyer.

 

The Claim Is Denied

You should receive workers’ comp benefits if you are hurt at work. At least, that is how it is supposed to work in an ideal world. However, insurance companies are known for denying workers’ comp claims for many reasons. They could say, for example, that your injury is a pre-existing condition and isn’t covered.

A work injury attorney can help you appeal the ruling if the claim is denied. It is difficult to successfully appeal a workers’ comp benefits denial without an attorney’s assistance.

 

You Have A Permanent Disability

A workplace injury can be a temporary or permanent condition. If you get permanent partial disability, you still can do some work, but not the job you did before. But if you have a permanent total disability, you cannot work at all. Being disabled is expensive and the insurance company may object to paying long-term benefits. Your attorney will stand up to the insurance company and ensure you get the permanent disability benefits you deserve.

 

You Have A Pre-existing Condition

Do you have a pre-existing condition in the same part of the body as your injury? You should expect the insurance company to balk and blame the injury on the previous medical issue. Your attorney can collect evidence to prove that your injury was directly caused by the workplace accident.

 

The Workers’ Comp Settlement Is Insufficient

After you’re hurt at work, you must be checked by a doctor. They will give you an impairment rating that shows how much you were permanently affected by the injury. The rating will dictate the compensation you receive, and if it’s a low rating, you may not get enough money to cover your expenses and lost earnings. Your attorney can help you get the rating you deserve.

 

Your Company Retaliates Against You

It’s illegal in the US for an employer to retaliate against you for filing for workers’ comp. Retaliation can be in many ways, such as cutting your work hours, demotion, or even terminating your employment. If you suspect retaliation, you should hire a wrongful termination or employment discrimination attorney today.

 

Contact Our Indiana Work Injury Attorneys Now

Were you injured at work in Indianapolis or another community in Indiana? Most employers in the state are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you were hurt on the job, you may qualify for workers’ comp and may receive benefits for your medical bills and lost earnings.

Additionally, if you were injured on the job as a result of the actions of someone other than your employer or a fellow employee, you may be entitled to compensation from a third party beyond your workers’ compensation benefits. Speak to an Indianapolis work injury attorney at Blackburn Romey today to learn about how they can help you file your claim.

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