“Ways to avoid a work injury”
The attorneys at Martin Law stand ready and able to help injured Pennsylvania workers. But the truth is, we would rather not EVER see anyone get hurt. For this reason, we’re passing along these timely tips.
Tips for Avoiding Injury
For many jobs, work slows down during the winter months and moves indoors. Yet, many employees are still required to perform their work related duties outdoors in the chilling elements. In Pennsylvania, icy, slippery conditions add another whole dimension to the workday. Whether you work indoors or outdoors, it is critical that you are aware of your legal rights should a work related injury occur. Keep the following information in mind.
In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation insurance coverage is required by law for most employees from day one on the job, for all employers with one or more employees. Although employees tend to think about the coverage in terms of their own protection, the system is actually designed to protect employers as well. Whether an employee is full-time or part-time, coverage under workers’ compensation ensures wage-loss as well as medical benefits to employees who suffer a work related injury. And employers who provide workers’ compensation coverage are protected from lawsuits filed by injured employees.
Studies show that there are typically more work-related injuries during the summer months. However, the causes of injury during the winter months are more widespread.
Slip-and-falls are among the highest causes of injuries during the winter months in states that experience wintery conditions.
- It is important to keep walking paths free of snow, ice or water, but it is also important to wear proper shoes with sufficient tread.
- If you are shoveling snow from a sidewalk or driveway, it is critical to do so properly. Lift small amounts at a time, keep your back straight and do not twist your body. You should always stretch before such a task.
- If you spot a dangerous condition at your place of work, notify your supervisor immediately.
- If you are using a power tool, such as a snow blower, take precautions. Winter power equipment is a frequent cause of injury. It is important that the equipment is properly grounded to prevent electric shock. If the equipment becomes jammed, never stick your arm/hand in the machine. Shut down the equipment before attempting to clear the jam.
BE AWARE and make adjustments
During the winter months you should take time to consider how winter weather will change your working conditions or commute and take sensible precautions.
- It is critical that your brakes, engine, tires, cooling/warming system are safe and sufficient condition.
- Drive slowly and alertly during wet or icy conditions.
- In case you become stranded, it is wise to be equipped with a cell phone, water, snacks, blanket, flashlight, shovel, sand or kitty litter for traction, road map and windshield and ice scraper.
Incidentally, with few exceptions, injuries incurred during the commute to and from work are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Such injuries will only be covered if the employee was furthering the business of the employer; the employment contract included the commute to and from work; the employee does not maintain a fixed place of work, or the employee is on a special assignment for his or her employer.
Yes, winter is here. But that’s no reason to slip up. We hope the tips included in this article help keep you safe all winter long.
Injured on the Job?
Please remember that if you become injured while performing your job-related duties, tell your supervisor as soon as possible. If you have any questions, seek legal advice. The experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation law firm of Martin Law are here to help. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.