Becoming injured at work can take the best of us by surprise. You could wake up one day and head out to work as you usually would, only to find something goes wrong, and it ends up affecting both your physical and mental health for weeks to come; maybe even longer.
However, because many of us never expect this to happen to us, if we do find ourselves in a situation like this, far too many people are unsure of what to do next. What are your rights? Do you just at home or hospital and wait to get better, or are you entitled to some form of compensation? Do you need some kind of compensation?
To help you fill in the blanks, today we’re going to explore the ins and outs of workplace injuries and your rights related to them.
Defining a Workplace Injury
First, you’ll want to see what actually classifies as a workplace injury. In short, any injury you sustain because of something related to work will count. For example, if a bit of machinery breaks and hits you and ends up breaking a bone in your body, or you’re injured climbing cell tower, or something complex like this, this is a significant injury.
However, other minor injuries also count, such as repetitive strain injury (carpal tunnel), due to sitting at a computer all day. Even mental health conditions, such as stress, count as a workplace injury.
Your Rights While Suffering from a Workplace Injury
Now you know if you’ve been suffering from a workplace injury, it’s essential you understand your rights and how to proceed. Let’s explore them now.
If your boss or employer is actively trying to stop you from seeking medical attention for your injuries for whatever reasons, this is a breach of the law, and your employer is acting illegally. Your rights will depend on the individual situation, but with an attorney’s help, you could take this to court; especially if the injury is worsened because of lack of attention.
A Written Statement
If you’ve been injured at work, it’s vital you get your employer to give a written and signed statement that this has happened. You’re well within your rights to get this statement as evidence that the event took place. If you do need to go to court for whatever reason, this can then be used as evidence.
Must Make Allowances
If you need time off work to attend medical appointments, as long as the injury was sustained during work hours for work-related reasons, most laws will state your employer should allow you the time off work.
Likewise, if you’ve physically injured yourself and you’re still coming into work, you’re well within your rights to seek out lighter duties that won’t cause you more harm. If refused, take note of the reason, so you have proof of why this has unfairly taken place.
As you can see, you have lots of legal rights when it comes to workplace-related injuries, and it’s important to know these to make sure you’re not taken advantage of as an employee. Of course, each case is different, so make sure you’re seeking professional help to know what is best for you.