A Guide To Work Hazards: How To Avoid Them And What To Do When It Happens
While there are protections and benefits for California workers who get injured at work, such as Workers' Comp and Employment Law Claims, preventing the danger is still the most ideal. Sure, you get some compensation when anything happens to you on the job; but not having to go through pain, stress, and the recovery process would be the better option.
Here's a quick guide to preventing workplace accidents, applicable to both you and your boss:
1. Take Note Of Any Potential Hazards At Work
Wet floors, objects blocking routes, and bulky goods that strain employees' backs are common risks in many workplaces. However, depending on the industry you work in, these risks might vary.
Providing safety measures—like protective gear, fences, and training—should already be a given. Unfortunately, not all employers offer these safety measures, especially when they cost extra expenses.
If you are an employee currently working in poor conditions, consider consulting the OSHA guidelines and whether your employer violates anything. If they do, you will be within your right to report them without risking your job.
2. Look For Appropriate Signages
A lot of slip and fall cases occur because of inadequate signages. For example, people are vulnerable to slipping on tiles because there wasn't a "wet floor sign" to warn them. This is even more important when it's a place of work, where people could be working in kitchens, alongside large and heavy machinery and possible open wiring.
These signs are required by law in several industries to warn employees of potential hazards. But, even if these signs aren't required, they can be an excellent tool for protecting employees and avoiding potential accidents.
Again, if you're an employee, check for possible OSHA violations. If you're an employer, you need to look for possible hazards that might require extra warnings.
3. Safety Trainings
Safety management is another preventative measure to avoid possible injuries. This should already be a given in risky industries, like construction, factory work, and chemical labs. Even if you already had some training to get a license to operate or work, employers still need to guide you through the process of how things are done in your workplace. This is because many factors, like floor layouts, machine models, and new technology, can vary differently across workplaces and industries.
Employees should also be trained with basic protocols like fire and earthquake drills. This can be especially important for companies that operate in large buildings or factories with many workers.
As an employee, you need to actively participate in these trainings, so you'll be ready when anything happens. While this doesn't stop a fire from happening, it makes sure no employees or workers get injured as a result of it.
You Noticed Some Safety Hazards, Now What?
If you've seen something potentially hazardous, the first thing you need to do is to document it. Take photos of open wires, over-stacking, overloading, cracked floors, and faulty equipment. Having them on hand will make it easier for you to report them to your boss or manager.
Additionally, if your manager or employer refuses to address these problems, you can keep them as evidence for when you report your place of work to OSHA.
In the unfortunate case that you get injured because of these unaddressed hazards, the evidence that you've gathered can help back up your Workers' Compensation Claim.
What Happens In Workers' Compensation Claims In California?
In most cases, getting compensation for workplace injuries shouldn't be a complicated process. You don't need to prove your injuries to your boss, and your boss should only be forwarding your claim to the insurance firm as soon as it happens.
Sadly, there might be cases where your boss or the insurance provider either refuses to give you the payout or will trivialize your injuries and pay you less than you deserve. Since injuries tend to rack up medical bills and cause employees to lose their income, unfair or lack of compensation can truly set them back financially and emotionally.
If your claims are ever denied or lowballed, contact a California Workers' Compensation Attorney to help you get the payout you deserve.
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