Are You Aware Of What Constitutes A Work Injury?
Ever had a bad day at work? We all do, don’t we? But if you’re injured at work there’s no way to tell at that point on how bad things might get. Most people are aware that if there’s a work-related injury, Workers’ Compensation has them covered.
Let’s take a look at what constitutes a work injury.
An injury or an illness can be considered work-related if it aggravates a pre-existing condition and/or exposure or an event at your work environment cause an illness or injury.
What is the “work environment”?
OSHA defines the work environment as “the establishment and other locations where one or more employees are working or are present as a condition of their employment. The work environment includes not only physical locations but also the equipment or materials used by the employee during the course of his or her work.”
However, according to OSHA, there are some exceptions to what can be considered a work injury. Being aware of these exceptions is good. An injury is not considered work-related if:
- You were present at the site where the injury occurred as a general public and not as an employee.
- The signs of injury appear when you are at work but are actually due to a non-work related event or exposure that occurred outside the work environment.
- The injury came from something you had voluntarily participated in. Examples could be a blood donation drive that you participated in, or the flu shots you got, or injuries sustained while playing sports.
- You are injured or taken ill at work due to eating or drinking contaminated food bought from outside. Imagine you got food poisoning because of eating a contaminated salad that you brought to work. This will not be considered as a work-related injury.
- You are injured doing personal tasks outside your workspace.
- You self-inflict an injury or take medications for non-work related injuries.
- You have a common cold or flu.
- You have a mental illness unless a doctor certifies that the illness was caused due to the work you do.
- You meet with an accident on the work premises while commuting to and from work. This exception is not all black and white, as there have been cases where compensation has been awarded. It’s best to consult with a lawyer who specializes in work-related injuries to know if your case qualifies.
So you must be wondering what types of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. You will most likely be covered by workers’ compensation if:
- You are injured in the company’s cafeteria while you are having your meal since it is on the company’s premises.
- You sustain injuries while on a company outing, annual meet or any other company sponsored event.
- You suffer an accident or injury while traveling for work related to the company.
- You have a pre-existing condition and your job aggravates or elevates it. For example, if you’ve had a lower back injury before and it is amplified, or sustain injuries in the same area because you were lifting heavy objects at work then you are most likely to be covered under workers’ compensation.
- If you lose your hearing because you work in a noisy environment like a construction site.
- You develop a mental condition because of trauma at your work.
However, it is very important that you report an injury immediately. Delay in reporting may affect the benefit amount you would be awarded. You should remember the fact that every injury is a unique one and you might not always be aware of the best possible outcome for your scenario.
If you are in the Pennsylvania area and are in need of a workers’ compensation representative, contact the attorneys at Krasno Krasno & Onwudinjo.