Published On: Fri, Aug 7th, 2015

Why Many People Refuse To Report Workplace Injuries

For the most part, our days at work are without issue. When we head to the office, or wherever we work, we don’t expect anything bad to happen to us. What we do expect is to complete our daily tasks in the safe confines of our working environment.

Workplace Injuries

The sad truth is that some people sustain injuries in the workplace. They can be accidental, or they might get caused by someone else’s gross negligence. One shocking fact about many workplace injuries is they seldom get reported! As crazy as that sounds, plenty of folks prefer to keep such incidents to themselves. But, what is that so?

Embarrassment

It might sound odd, but some people feel embarrassed by the fact they’ve hurt themselves at work. They fear their boss and colleagues might laugh at them for doing “something stupid.” It’s for that reason that some workplace accidents never get reported.

 

Of course, if an injury is severe enough the person involved will need to get medical attention fast! But, minor injuries tend to get hidden away from others. At least, until they get home and think about what to do next.

Fear of getting fired

Another common reason some workers keep workplace injuries to themselves is fear. They are often scared of losing their jobs if they tell their bosses what happened to them.

That fear will often drive these poor souls to suffer in silence, even if they didn’t do anything wrong. As you can imagine, it’s a sad fact of life that we fear for our jobs if we do something “bad” like that at work.

Again, that’s another reason some statistics about workplace accidents might not be valid.

Doing something that isn’t part of their job

Let’s say that your boss asks you to “cover” someone else’s role because they aren’t at work that day. The prospect of doing so might fill you with dread if you aren’t familiar with what they do.

As a result, mistakes are far more likely to occur. That isn’t a reflection on you being a bad worker, of course. It’s just down to the fact that you’ve never had to learn about that role in the past. Some managers don’t care about such facts and expect people to just “put up and shut up”!

So, what happens if the work they do involves operating machines? The chances of untrained workers injuring themselves on such equipment go up a lot.

Are employers doing enough to make workplaces safe?

You might not know this, but company owners have a legal responsibility to ensure your safety. They must do everything they can to make sure your working environment is as safe as possible.

That could include things like making adjustments to your workstation. It might even incorporate safety elements like PPE (personal protective equipment) clothing. Of course, it depends on the nature of the work and where you carry out your duties.

So, in short, yes employers are doing their bit, as it were. But, that doesn’t mean ALL company bosses are doing what they should!

The consequences of keeping quiet

Workers that don’t report any workplace injuries may think keeping silent is a good idea. But, what they fail to realize is that there are consequences to their actions.

For a start, let’s assume that one worker injured themselves on a faulty machine. They might feel embarrassed about what they’ve done, or scared of losing their job. But, what happens if someone else comes along and uses that same machine?

By not reporting the injury, no-one but the first person knows about the faulty machine. And if a second person injures themselves, the injury they sustain might be life-threatening. As you can imagine, that’s not something anybody would want to have on their conscience.

Granted, employers have a duty of care and must perfect periodic maintenance. The bad news is that doesn’t always happens for various reasons. So, you can see why keeping workplace injuries to yourself is a bad idea.

What to do if you injure yourself at work

You are no doubt wondering what you SHOULD be doing if you ever sustain an injury at work. The first thing you need to do is report the injury to your supervisor or manager.

By law, they must record details of your injury in an “accident book.” The details they need to note include your name, the date and time, and your account of what happened at the time. Your boss also needs to write down where the accident happened.

Next, you need to determine what course of action is necessary for your injury. If you’ve cut yourself on a sharp object, you might only need to apply a plaster to the wound. For more serious injuries, a trip to your local hospital might be necessary. If you have a life-threatening injury, your employer will need to call emergency services.

Has the accident occurred because of a faulty machine? If so, your boss needs to shut it down and prevent anyone else from using it.

Who is to blame?

You might think that your employer is the one to blame for all workplace accidents and injuries. But, employees also have a duty of care too.

It’s likely you are asking the question because you want to claim some compensation. It’s only natural because you want to cover the cost of your medical expenses and time away from work. In some cases, you might want compensation because of someone else’s gross negligence.

It’s worth speaking to a lawyer like Beilby Poulden Costello to find out where you stand. You can also determine what the best course of action is before you make your next move.

Can your employer fire you?

If you got injured at work through no fault of your own, then no your boss can’t fire you. It’s likely you will need time to recover from your injuries.

The law says that your employer has no right to end your employment because of that fact. Thanks for reading today’s article. I hope it’s given you a useful insight into workplace injuries.