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Workplace Safety and related issues

How many young workers are injured each year?

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Workplace injuries is a sad fact of life. Every year many employees are injured at their workplace and some are not lucky enough to survive the injury. Although it is true that some workplaces are more risky than other, it always pays to take all the necessary precaution while performing a task assigned to you.

The statistics in Ontario, Canada are astounding. As per them over 10,000 workers under the age of 25 make claims with the Workplace safety and insurance board (WSIB) due to their injuries caused while on the job. These are only the workers who have made claims because they are unable to work for some time due to their injuries. The number of cases being reported for injuries suffered at workplace requiring first aid treatment are equally high.

But that is not all, there are many injured workers who don’t even make the statistics since they either don’t wish to inform their employer or their employer doesn’t wish to WSIB claims with their behalf.

A viable solution:

Health and safety duties

There has got to be a solution to putting an end to the tens and thousands of young workers that are injured every year. To start with, they themselves should take the health and safety duties seriously. It I important for them to stay alert and develop an eye for such situations so that they can be prevented. For example if an instrument, device or machinery has malfunctioned it is important to fix it properly. If the employee makes a temporary fix without informing the supervisor he could unknowingly be setting the scene for a major accident down the line.

Why don’t some workers report injuries?

At time many workers do not even report an injury; there are several reasons why that may happen as listed here:

  • The employer is a friend or a relative and thus you hesitate reporting it.
  • The likely hood of the employer thinking that you are unfit for the job.
  • Making the mistake of thinking the incident is not very serious.
  • Making the mistake of thinking that it will create a bad impression of you.

Why should I report an injury or illness suffered at work?Injury or illness suffered at work

It is very important for the worker to realize the importance of reporting an injury suffered at the workplace. Here are few reasons why:

  • Any injury should be immediately treated in the correct manner, reporting the incident make it possible.
  • WSIB offer compensation for your injuries or illness and thus it is necessary to first report the injury so that it can set the balls in motion.
  • An incident once reported can be thoroughly investigated and all the necessary steps can be taken to make sure it does not happen again.

Physical Stress Injuries:

Physical stress injuries are the basic form of injuries and are easy to identify as well. The name says it all; they are injuries caused due to physical stress. A quick example is administrative assistant suffering from the carpal tunnel syndrome that is usually due to excessive typing, chronic back injury – generally observed in people who stock shelves at a warehouse, even nerve damage caused due to excessive use of a jack hammer.

Such injuries can be quite a pain, (a good pun) since it is not possible to make claims for such injuries and neither is it possible to sue the employer due to the strong compensation laws. There is a solution however that ever employee should be aware off in the form the worker’s compensation system. The way this worker’s compensation system works is that when just injuries do occur it is likely that you will be receiving treatment for the injury and not be able to perform your duties.

At this time you are entitled to a portion of your average earnings for the duration of the treatment. However it is important to remember that this is not an automatic process. Thus even in such injuries it is necessary to report the injury to the employer and in some cases even to the company’s insurer. This will start the ball rolling for the insurance claim procedures.

Once a claim is made it becomes mandatory to consult a doctor so that he can provide a detailed assessment report. This report is used by the insurance agency to determine if the worker is eligible for compensation. The compensations would generally be provided without any delay if the injury hasn’t been caused prior to working with the company. The worker can expect the following benefits:

  • Weekly compensation
  • Permanent impairment
  • Payment of medical treatment.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation.

Once back to work it is very important to takes steps that such an incident does not occur again. This is the duty of both the employer as well as the employee to make sure the workplace is ergonomically correct. Besides which it is vital to obey the advice given by the doctor regarding restrictions or limits to stay in until you have fully recovered.

Emotional/Mental Stress Injuries:

It is very difficult to prove emotional stress injuries, in fact it is almost impossible; as a result of which it is very hard to receive compensation for them. However the worker compensation laws do vary by jurisdiction some states do not cover claims for emotional stress at all. One of the main reasons is that it is extremely hard to figure out whether the emotional distress has been caused from some actions at work or was it due to some incident that occurred outside of work.

Making a Claim Under Personal Injury Laws:Claim Under Personal Injury Laws

At times there is an alternative available for the workers if the injury is not covered by the worker’s compensation. If the injury is of the nature of emotional distress or intentional infliction of emotional distress on the part of your employer or a co-worker, then it may be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit for the same. However there should be no ambiguity regarding the incident and it should be easy to explain and prove too.

Possible Disability Claims:

Social security disability claims for job related stress and anxiety do exist in some states, however they too are very hard to pursue.

Action Plans:

As a employee it is necessary for you to aware of the basic issues surrounding making of claims and the consequences. This not only applies to physical injuries that are very easy to claim for, but also includes the other injuries that are harder to prove like emotional stress at work.

Thus the first thing to do is to tell someone about the stress related issues. In addition to which it is also necessary to discuss the issues with the supervisor and even make a formal report. Every company will have some form of document format structure in place which should be followed while making a report. These documented reports help down the line since they become evidence. However there is a time limit to filing a claim, it must be filed within 60 days from the date of the event.

In cases like these, the more the details you have the easier it becomes to claim. For example you can maintain a journal to make a note of the time and place and nature of incident. It is not a good idea to trust your memory with so much data. In addition to this talking to a trusted co-worker and asking them to make a note of their observations will help the case too.

Being Safe with Safety First:

Safety First

Safety First provides full workplace health and safety service. Safety First in Ontario is a Canadian firm and their first priority is workplace safety. Their highly skilled team of certified safety professionals implement the highest level of health and safety practices in the construction workplace. In fact they also provide the best training. Their team of registered professionals’ trainers (RPT) provide the correct guidance to establish a construction safety training system that abides by all the government regulations, legislation and standards and is tailored for your company. It is thus a little wonder that they have been so successful in the past and continue to do so.

Safety First Consulting Professional Corporation is a licensed paralegal firm regulated by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC). Our paralegal team provides a widespread WSIB claims Ontario management system that is designed to reduce and control an employer’s costs associated with workplace injuries and illnesses. Our pro-active program begins at the point of occurrence and continues to the final resolution of the claim with a rapid response.

Safety First consulting plays an important role in making sure every workplace is safe. Even when it comes to high risk workplaces like a construction site, their highly trained and certified safety consultants take up the task to ensure that everyone present at the workplace is aware of the importance of staying secure and not taking any unnecessary risks.

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The professionals at Safety First Consulting can show you how to navigate the sometimes technical and often confusing OSHA regulations. They can help you figure out what regulations apply in your workplace and what you need to do to comply. Just know About us, take one of our classes, or request a Contact us form.

About the author

Sophie MooreSophie Moore is a Digital Marketing Analyst, in charge of many digital marketing projects that involve SEO, Social Media and mobile web strategy. Moore has a background in IT, strong experience on website development and web interface, degrees in both traditional and digital marketing at Duke University, North Carolina.

Moore has a wide experience of internet projects and keeps herself up to date with the latest technologies and trends. Moore always explains that social media is her passion, SEO a motivation and a dynamic challenge where she is involved every day.

Learn more about her at her personal site. Follow her on Twitter, on Google +Sophie or become a friend on Linkedin

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