New to the workforce? Familiarize yourself with potential hazards
Have you recently entered the Nebraska workforce? Then you may have questions about the workers’ compensation insurance system. What are the benefits that you will receive in the event of a workplace injury? The program is in place to provide you with compensation for medical expenses and lost wages in the event of an on-the-job injury.
The benefits typically cover all medical expenses, including doctors’ bills, hospital fees, physical therapy and even costs for traveling to and from medical appointments. When it comes to wage replacement, you will receive a portion of the wages you lost due to temporary or permanent disability. Furthermore, if your injury prevents you from returning to your regular job, you may receive vocational rehabilitation training to equip you with additional skills for a different employment field.
Typical workplace injuries
Regardless of the industry in which you work, and despite your employer’s responsibility to protect your health and safety, you may be at risk of suffering one of the following common workplace injuries:
- Slip-and-fall accidents: If you have to move about on wet and slippery floors, or uneven walking surfaces, you will be at risk of slipping or tripping. Debris and randomly placed objects can also lead to falls. These incidents often result in sprains, strains or torn muscles, lacerations needing stitches, fractured bones and, if your head strikes a hard surface when you fall, you could even suffer a traumatic brain injury.
- Materials handling injuries: Lifting, pushing, pulling and moving of heavy or awkwardly shaped objects can lead to musculoskeletal and soft tissue injuries. Improper lifting and carrying techniques can cause injuries to your back or damage to the soft tissues surrounding ligaments, tendons and muscles.
- Electrical shocks: Even if you are not an electrician, you could suffer an electrical shock if you make contact with an exposed circuit or where an outlet is near water. Consequences of this hazard can cause death.
- Vehicle accidents: Although many workers’ compensation claims for vehicle accident injuries come from commercial truck drivers and salespeople who drive company vehicles, you may even be eligible for benefits if you should crash on your way to work. Benefits will only cover your medical expenses and not the damage to your vehicle.
- Equipment hazards: Heavy and dangerous equipment can cause severe injuries, and these are mostly present on construction sites and in manufacturing plants. Make sure you receive training for every piece of equipment you operate and insist on the necessary personal protective equipment and safety devices to prevent you from making contact with dangerous, moving parts of machines.
You may avoid most of the workplace hazards by taking care to comply with safety regulations and report hazardous conditions to your employer. However, if you do suffer a workplace injury, you must report it to your supervisor or employer as soon as possible. That will set the wheels rolling for a workers’ compensation benefits claim. Many injured workers in Nebraska choose to utilize the skills of an experienced attorney to help them secure maximum benefits.