When you go to work every day, you have a reasonable and legal expectation that you’re going to be kept safe. However, according to Travelers Companies Inc., the country’s largest workers’ compensation carrier, there are a whopping 3.7 million workers that are injured each year in all public sector and private US businesses.
According to Travelers, the most common types of workplace injuries included:
- Material handling
- Trips and falls
- Being struck by or colliding with an object
- Accidents involving tools, and traumas occurring over time (when a body part is injured by overuse).
Even though millions of people are injured every year while working, many are hesitant to report their injuries to the proper authorities. So, why exactly is that?
Here are the top four reasons why people don’t report on the job injuries.
1.) Occupational Injuries are Difficult to Identify as Work-Related
Unless a traumatic event occurs at work, such as injuring yourself with a tool, it can be difficult to detect work-related injuries that can take a long time to develop. Because it’s tricky to pin down the cause of a long-term illness or injury, workers may not know to report their injuries to receive workers’ compensation.
2.) Workers Know the Difficulty of Workers’ Compensation and Therefore Don’t Report
Unfortunately, many workers choose not to report their on-the-job injuries because they know the difficulty of the system. Workers’ compensation often has long waiting periods as well as insufficient wage compensation, which can also discourage employees from reporting—particularly if they are already covered by health insurance. Employees understandably don’t want to go through a long waiting period when they are in pain and want to schedule appointments with a doctor they are already familiar with.
3.) The Workers’ Compensation Process is Complex
Many employees don’t report their injuries because they don’t understand the reporting system, which can often be overly complex and difficult to comprehend. Without an employer who is willing to routinely go over the steps with their employees, the injured worker is forced to navigate through this convoluted process by themselves.
4.) Employers Actively Discourage Reporting
Employers can often discourage workers from applying for workers’ compensation, which causes underreporting of injuries. Employers have plenty of reasons for not wanting their employees to report, including a higher chance of an OSHA inspection and an unwillingness to pay for the cost of treatment. Plus, a low injury and illness rate will look good to the public as well as customers.
Have you been injured on the job in Georgia? If your employer has actively discouraged you from reporting your injuries or you haven’t received the compensation that you deserve for your medical bills, you’re going to need a workers’ compensation attorney to help you understand your rights. Give the Fry Legal team a call today at (404) 948-3571 to set up a free consultation.