Between 1992 and 2011, the most common months for workplace fatalities were July and August. 11,168 workplace fatalities occurred during July, and 11,155 fatalities occurred during August, making the summer months more dangerous for workers. Increased temperatures and more outdoor work help contribute to the spike in work-related fatalities during the summer. In 2016, 21.1% of all work-related fatalities occurred in the construction field. Construction work is far more common during the summer months, and hot temperatures can lead to complications such as severe dehydration.
Work Related Injuries
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration considers an injury work-related if “an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness. Work-relatedness is presumed for injuries and illnesses resulting from events or exposures occurring in the work environment.”
It is important to know that a work-related injury includes an event or accident that aggravated a pre-existing condition and doesn’t have to be a new injury.
Workplace related injuries can also occur if you work from home. If you are doing any paid work-related activities at home and suffer an injury related to your job, your injury is considered work-related. For example, if you drop a box of work documents and injure your foot, the injury is work-related. If the injury is related to a non-work function or your home environment, such as an injury caused by faulty electrical wiring, your injury would not be considered work-related.
Work-related injuries include a single event that caused the injury, as well as injuries caused by long-term or continuous exposure to certain activities or conditions.
How to Address a Work-Related Injury
If you are injured at work, immediately report the event to your supervisor. Seek appropriate medical treatment. Keep in mind that it is illegal for your employer to fire you for being injured at work or for filing a workers compensation claim. In California, the employer is responsible for providing you with a worker’s compensation claim form within one working day of your injury.
Document your injury with your doctor and follow the treatment recommendations. Some employers may direct you to see a specific doctor or medical practice.
You should consider filing a workers compensation claim. Part-time and seasonal employees typically qualify for workers compensation. In California, non-citizens may be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. While independent contractors, in most cases, are not entitled to workers compensation benefits, employers commonly misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid paying workers compensation and payroll taxes. If your employer tells you that you are not covered because you are an independent contractor, review the guidelines of your position to ensure that you meet the definition of an independent contractor.
Workers compensation claims may not always cover all of your losses. The main benefits of workers compensation include medical expenses, temporary and permanent disability benefits, supplemental job displacement benefits, and death benefits.
Accepting workers compensation does not nullify your right to pursue damages or other disability benefits. If you have been injured on the job, contact Rush Injury Law for a free consultation.