Groups » Easy Ways to prevent Personal Injury at Workplace and your Rights

A person's workplace is like a second home to them. The members at the workplace become an extended family as it is at the workplace that we spend all our day serving the company. The last thing we expect from the the workplace, then, is an unpleasant experience with respect to our well-being. However, reality bites and the harsh reality is that sometimes some of us do encounter experiences that may not turn out to be as per our desire. One of those harsh realities is - personal injury at the workplace.

Personal Injury at the Workplace

One of the most common issues that workers face at their workplace is that of their safety, especially while working at places like construction sites, mines, chemical labs, kitchens or factories. An employer is legally obligated to meeting safety standards at all levels in the company for avoidance of mishaps and/or injuries at the workplace to all employees. In case the employee does end up suffering from any work related accident or injury, he/she can file for a personal injury claim. In order to avoid suffering personal injury at work, keep the following pointers in mind:

● Technical know-how: This is a very crucial aspect of keeping yourself safe from injury as it is crucial to have a perfect understanding of the standard and safe operating procedures when it comes to handling heavy machinery and dangerous equipment. If you're not familiar with using a particular type of machine, ask your employer to provide you with adequate training on how to handle it or ask for assistance from an experienced senior. Never attempt to start up machines without the knowledge of the how's and the when's as that can lead to serious physical injuries and in some cases, even death.

● Adequate precaution: While operating heavy machinery, make sure you observe all the safety procedures strictly and know how to maintain the same. Do not over-estimate your capabilities and unnecessarily take any potentially damaging and life-threatening risks.

● Protective gear: If big and heavy objects are constantly being moved around where you work, then you should be wearing protective gear like helmets, boots, gloves, face mask, etc.

1. Helmets: They protect your head from objects that might accidentally fall over you. However, ensure that your helmet fits you well as ill-fitted helmets cause accidents of their own.

2. Boots and gloves: They protect your hands and legs from accidentally coming into contact with chemicals or grease, thereby protecting your skin from infections and preventing you from slipping.

3. Face mask: It is important to keep your nose and mouth covered while at work to prevent harmful foreign elements like dust, asbestos, etc. from entering your system. A face mask that can cover your nose and mouth will keep you safe from allergic reactions as well.

4. Noise-canceling earplugs: If you work in a factory where the machinery and equipment make loud noise when they function, you need to protect your ears with noise-canceling earplugs as the high decibels can cause hearing impairment and can even leave you deaf for life.

5. Protective eye-wear: Wearing safety glasses prevents harmful substances from entering your eyes. So do make sure that you're wearing proper eye-wear while performing hazardous tasks like welding or handling chemicals.

However, should you end up suffering serious physical and/or mental injuries, accidentally or otherwise, here is a list that broadly describes your rights at your place of work as an employee of an organization:

● Safe workplace: Your employer needs to provide you with a safe and secure working environment so you can work with complete peace of mind in a risk-free environment. If you feel that your workplace is not as safe as it should be, you could approach the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration with your complaints and queries to potential risky/threatening areas in the company.

● Fair and equal pay: Your employer has to ensure an equal pay for jobs that require similar qualifications, skill set, knowledge and experience that are required to be performed under similar working conditions, without any kind of discrimination.

● Overtime payment: Your employer is required to pay you an overtime payment of one-and-a-half times your normal pay if you work for more than 40 hours in a week. Exceptions, however, could be made for most sales professionals and other employees working at higher posts.

● Freedom from sexual harassment: It is illegal for anyone at the workplace to demand from any other employee any kind of sexual favors in exchange for promotions, pay hike, or any other kind of benefit. It is also illegal to pass lewd, perverse comments on fellow employees that cause any kind of physical or psychological discomfort to the employee.

● Freedom from discrimination: Your employer cannot discriminate against anyone for any reason related to recruitment, salary issues, promotion and separation, based on your age, gender, color, religion, race, nationality, immigration status and pregnancy (in the case of female employees).

● Forming or joining unions: Your employer cannot stop you from forming or joining a union and you can seek to have an organization representing the employees without any fear of retaliation from the employer. As per the National Labor Relations Act, employees have the right to bargain collectively through chosen representatives with the employer to mutually arrive at important decisions that concern them and the company.

● Leave: Your employer is required to give you a stipulated number of family and medical leaves. Female members can also claim maternity leave, provided there are 50 people or more working as employees in the company.

Always remember - Prevention is better than cure! Make this your mantra. Preventing personal injury at the workplace is as much the responsibility of an employee, as it is, of the employer. Although,no one can take your safety for granted, it is you who has to be most alert and prepared to prevent any misfortune from striking you. So take care!


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