We previously discussed common construction worker injuries that are generally covered by Georgia workers’ compensation insurance. However, there are many workplace hazards that affect more than construction workers. There are dangers that a variety of employees face every day, but many people may not think about them until an accident happens or an illness arises. Only by understanding the various hazards common in construction, utility, transportation, gas and oil, and other jobs that require physical labor can workers focus on safety and uphold their rights when they get hurt. If you were injured on the job or you now suffer from an illness connected to your work, contact the Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys of Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A..
No job is 100 percent safe. Even office jobs where individuals spend most days on the computer increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome or eyesight issues. Plus accidents like slips and falls or straining your back from lifting a heavy box can happen anywhere. But occupations that require consistent physical labor and working outside have additional hazards that could lead to an injury or medical condition. Common but often lesser considered workplace hazards include:
- Vehicle accidents: Various occupations require people to drive cars, truck, and vans to and from various work sites. Other jobs require large industrial vehicles to perform the work. Whether it is a normal truck or a bulldozer, accidents can happen. Anyone controlling a vehicle must have the proper license and training for that specific vehicle. The driver and workers outside all need to be on the lookout, ensuring no one gets into the path of the vehicle. Vehicle-related accidents on the job can cause severe injuries and death.
- Poor air conditions: Industrial workers are constantly exposed to poor air quality from coal, metals, and other mining operations, dust, debris, and asbestos during construction work. Fire fighters are constantly exposed to harmful smoke. Poor air quality leads to work-related respiratory diseases that can be managed but not cured. Many of them lead to an early death.
- Violence: Workplace violence is a significant factor in worker injuries and deaths each year. This violence can be perpetrated by one employee toward another or it can be a third-party that comes into the workplace or on the work site. Some of the only ways to protect against workplace violence is to support a respectful and appropriate work environment and to enforce workplace security.
- Machine-related injuries: Different industries use various machinery and technology. These machines are not always entirely contained and there is a chance that the person operating or maintaining the machine can become entangled in it and injured. This often happens when an individual does not have proper training, wears loose clothing or hair, or attempts to work on the machine when he or she thinks it is off. People can get their clothing, accessories, or appendages pulled into the machine, which can lead to broken bones, lacerations, and amputations.
- Live electrical: Almost everything we do in this day and age requires a power source. Most machines and tools are plugged in while some have their own batteries. Workers may make the mistake of working on a machine that has a live electrical connection leading to shocks, electrocution, and burns. Old or frayed wires and cords or improperly wired cables can also cause dangerous electrical hazards.
- Exposure to sunlight/UV rays: Any worker who is required to be outside often throughout the year is exposed to ultraviolet rays, which can lead to sunburns and skin cancer. Construction workers in particular face a much higher rate of non-melanoma skin cancers compared to indoor employees. Workers who are consistently in the sun should wear UV-protective clothing over as much of their body as they can – like long pants and long sleeves. They should also wear sunscreen on exposed skin, applying it multiple times throughout the day.
- Biological agents: People rarely think about it, but many workers can be exposed to blood, bodily fluids, bacteria, mold, fungus, and animal feces. These biological substances can be infectious and lead to a person getting sick. When these types of substances are encountered, workers need special training to clean them up with care and without exposing themselves or others to possible contagions.
- Chemicals: Whether it is a cleaning agent, fuel, or pesticide, there are many chemicals that workers are exposed to that can lead to injuries and illnesses. Workers who are around or are required to handle acids, solvents, and flammable chemicals should be trained in how to safely store, transport, and use these chemicals. They also need to be educated on which chemicals can dangerously interact and how to keep them apart. If a chemical is spilled, workers or supervisors need to know how to properly clean it up.
Georgia Workers’ Compensation Law
If you are injured in an accident at work or acquire a work-related illness, you should notify your supervisor or employer right away and file a claim for workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation benefits can pay for your medical expenses and lost wages while you are unable to work. The compensation can depend on your injury and your average weekly wage. However, because of your right to compensation, you do not have the right to sue your employer for your injury. If a third party outside of your work was involved, you may be able to sue them for their part in your injuries.
Call an Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
If you have questions about your workers’ compensation rights, do not hesitate to seek legal advice. Many workers have questions about whether their injury is covered or what to do if their claim is denied – which is not uncommon. Call the determined worker’s compensation attorneys in Atlanta of Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A to have your questions answered. We can help you file a workers’ compensation claim or appeal a denial.
Ted A. Greve is more than an attorney, he is also a doctor. His medical background enables him to fully understand your workers’ compensation claims, including your necessary medical care and inability to work. His team also includes other physicians and insurance professionals who will understand your situation.