Workers’ comp is essentially insurance for employees who are injured in work-related accidents. The insurance is meant to compensate the injured employee for medical expenses and lost wages. However, the difficulty with many workers’ comp claims is proving that the injury was indeed “work-related.”
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines a work-related accident as, An event or exposure in the work environment - the establishment or other locations where one or more employees are working or are present as a condition of their employment, including equipment or materials used by the employee during the course of his or her work - which has either directly caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness.
As such, any type of injury that occurs during work hours as a result of your job duties, or as a result of negligence in your work environment is considered a work-related injury and is therefore eligible for workers’ compensation.
Common Causes of Work-Related Accidents
The majority of work-related injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, result from two factors: employer/employee negligence and secondary violence
Employer/Employee Negligence Injuries
Negligence in the workplace is the most common cause of injury and often occurs as a result of the following:
- Poor maintenance. Employers are required to keep a well-maintained and safe working environment for their employees. Despite this, wet floors, debris, and clutter cause a lot of employee slip and fall injuries.
- Poor organization. Organization is key to keeping a work environment clean and safe. Poor organization can result in dangerously placed items falling and striking employees, or creating dangerous debris on the floor.
- Poor equipment. As machinery is considered part of the work environment, employers are required to keep them well-maintained and in proper working order. Malfunctioning machinery can cause horrendous and even life-threatening injuries.
- Poor training. Although employee negligence can’t always be blamed on poor training, if an employee doesn’t understand what should be done in dangerous situations, he can’t be expected to avoid injury, or in some cases, cause injury. Employers must properly train their employees on safety techniques to keep the work environment safe.
Secondary Violence Injuries
Certain jobs inherently come with some risk—police officer, firefighter, security guard—however, the majority of jobs don’t. You should be able to feel safe in your work environment and not have to plan for unexpected violence or danger. Common factors leading to violent injuries include:
- Employee confrontations. Discussions, debates, or miscommunications that escalate into violent altercations.
- Customer confrontations. Dialogue between customers, clients, and employees become heated and lead to violent outbursts
- Criminal confrontations. Robberies or other such criminal activities that put employees in harm’s way.
If you’ve sustained injuries as a result of a work-related accident, you have the right to seek workers’ compensation for damages, medical bills, and lost wages. Download our FREE book, It’s Not Rocket Science, It’s Workers’ Comp (Or So They Would Have You Believe) or contact our Daytona Beach office today at (386) 673-4412 to learn more about your benefit options.