Many workplaces are so dangerous that the smallest mistake by a worker will result in significant personal injury. Placing your hand just a few millimeters to the wrong side when operating a machine press, for example, could lead to a very unfortunate outcome.
Small mistakes on the job can lead to thousands of dollars in medical expenses and possibly weeks of lost income while someone recovers from their injuries. How do employees sometimes contribute to their own injuries?
They get distracted on the job
Whether you work in a factory or at a hospital, trying to stay connected to your family or your coworkers using digital technology during your shift can be a dangerous choice. Even when a company requires that workers use digital devices on the job and respond to messages in a set amount of time, those devices can still be to blame for a mistake that occurs and causes an injury.
Digital distraction is only one issue. Cognitive distraction when lifting something or walking down the stairs could also result in severe injury for a worker.
Using a shortcut instead of the safest option
Whether you need to prep food and a kitchen by chopping vegetables or load items on a truck at a warehouse, there are likely specific steps required to safely perform your job. Workers may want to improve their efficiency when completing certain job responsibilities and may unintentionally cause their own injuries in the pursuit of a faster solution.
Ignoring illness and fatigue
Workers often downplay the physical and cognitive consequences of a chest cold or a bout of influenza. While they may tell themselves and their coworkers that they are perfectly fine to work, the reality of the situation may be that they are not at full functionality and are therefore at greater risk of dropping something or making a preventable mistake on the job.
Sometimes, a worker’s sense of personal responsibility and work ethic can actually contribute to them getting hurt on the job. The good news is that fault doesn’t matter when it comes to qualifying for workers’ compensation benefits.
There are rare exceptions involving injuries caused by chemical intoxication or someone hurting themselves on purpose, but otherwise mistakes on the job don’t prevent someone from qualifying. You have no-fault coverage that applies even if there is security video footage of you dropping something on your own foot as you turn around to respond to a co-worker’s question.
Understanding your rights as an employee will make it easier for you to pursue a successful workers’ compensation claim.