Getting injured at work.

It may include injuries due to a faulty machine, negligence by the worker or company, and unsafe work environment, or practices. If you are injured at work you can do one of the following:

  • Lay an official complaint to the management or human resources division of the company where you were injured.
  • Claim compensation for loss of income and the costs of treatment for the injury
  • Request compensation from the Workmen's Compensation fund in your country for not being able to work due to the personal injuries at work
  • Contact a support organization for advice and counsel

The following steps can also be taken:

  • Inform the manpower division or labor department about the injury
  • Inform your employer of the accident for record purposes, who will then report it to the local authority that deals with it
  • Visit your doctor to establish a medical record, even if it is only a minor injury, since you will need a medical record for compensation claims.
  • Get witness statements of colleagues, and if possible, take pictures of the scene.

Filing the complaint
When you sustain an injury at the place of employment, you may get an official apology from the company. You will need to follow the company procedure for lodging a complaint, but should take note that the procedure can be long and frustrating. You will need to take steps within a certain time period, while filing the complaint may eventually lead to a time delay.

Damages payment
There are two types of claims: that of general compensation, and special compensation that can be filed in court. The court normally decides on the amount payable for general compensation, such as for possible loss of future income. Special compensation is provided for concrete loss of income and financial damages up to the date of the appearance in court. It includes travelling, damages to personal effects, and treatment costs. You need to get the assistance of a lawyer for the trial, which should be scheduled within three years from the injury date.

Social security payback for injuries
You are eligible for social security payments and workmen's compensation for personal injuries at work. If you however make a civil case against the company, and the court awards compensation to be paid, the benefit amount received will be deducted from the compensation.

Cost of legal steps
The legal process can be very expensive but you may get assistance with regard to the fees from the trade union or your insurance company. You may also make a conditional pay agreement where the lawyer receives his fees when the case is won. The lawyer may request that you get insurance to cover the cost if the case is lost.

Union membership
Trade unions assist their workers who sustain personal injuries at work, and will instruct a lawyer to handle the compensation claim on the worker's behalf without cost to the worker. You should thus contact the trade union immediately to assist you in the complaint procedure.

Personal injuries at work can be prevented. The following guidelines can be used to identify and prevent injury risks at your place of employment:

  • Study plant and machinery operating procedures, access paths, and injury accounts. Identify risk areas and follow the correct operating procedures.
  • Go for eye and hearing tests to make sure that your vision and hearing is normal. Many accidents occur due to poor eye sight.
  • Wear protective clothing according to your country's safety and health regulations. If your employer doesn't provide the gear then file a complaint.
  • Employers should have emergency procedures and trained staff available to assist, if not, request that your employer set up a program.
  • Study and follow the company's safety policy to prevent personal injuries at work.