While construction workers in Illinois face an endless list of safety hazards, it is not uncommon for some injuries never to be reported. Regardless of the reason for keeping quiet about an on-the-job injury, it is never a good idea. Reporting even near misses can benefit the construction company and all its employees. If it involved a previously unrecognized safety hazard, plans could be put in place to mitigate it. Furthermore, only reported injuries are valid for workers’ compensation claims.
Safety authorities say many reasons exist for workers not reporting injuries. These include workers being embarrassed about making an error that led to an injury, fearing disciplinary action, or even being put off by the amount of paperwork that might be involved in a report. However, reporting injuries can help to create a safer work environment by making sure it does not happen again.
Workers might not realize how costly medical care could be. Imagine suffering an injury that seems to be minor on a Friday only to have complications develop over the weekend. The injured worker might need to see a doctor, and he or she might be hospitalized. The fact that the injury was not reported on Friday reduces the chances of having a valid insurance claim, and the fact that it happened at work might even be questioned.
Injured workers in Illinois are typically eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages. However, for claims to be valid, the injury must be work related and reported to the employer or supervisor as soon as possible. Workers who are having problems with getting benefits claims approved might get the help they need from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.