Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

Learning from workplace safety mistakes

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Many decisions made in the employment context are reactionary in nature. Employees may be fired after lackluster performance. A Virginia business may get additional insurance after learning that something was not covered unexpectedly. Safety programs may not be improved until after a workplace accident occurs.

An all too common episode that results in a workers' compensation claim is that a new employee is immediately thrust into working on a machine. He or she may not be given an employee manual to read about how to safely use the machine. A senior team member may not be asked to get off of the production line in order to train the new employee because the employer is more concerned with productivity even if this senior member could provide firsthand knowledge and information about safely operating the machine. The new employee may instead have to watch other inexperienced workers using the machine. There may even be a history of prior injuries associated with the machine.

The new employee may be injured. OSHA may even be notified of a violation of safety protocol. The employer may be fined for violations. The employee may file a workers' compensation claim. The employer may even have to pay a higher premium. Other employees may be negatively impacted by a drop in employee morale if they do not believe that the employer cares about them or their safety.

Most workers who are injured on the job are entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits under their employer's insurance policy. As the claims process is time-sensitive, having the assistance of an attorney could be advisable.

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