If you spend eight or more hours per day sitting behind a desk in an office building or working from home, you might not consider your job dangerous. While some types of work are inherently more dangerous than others, it doesn’t mean that being sedentary during the work day automatically guarantees that you will never need to file a workers’ compensation claim because of a workplace injury.
In 2020, approximately 135 Illinois workers suffered fatal injuries on the job. Nearly one third of fatal workplace injuries throughout the state are due to transportation accidents. Understanding where your biggest risks lie may help you improve on-the-job safety. It’s also a good idea to learn more about the workers’ comp system ahead of time, in case a situation arises where you need to file a claim.
Be careful where you step at work
In addition to motor vehicle collisions, slip-and-fall accidents cause a high number of injuries each year for Illinois workers. In fact, many such incidents have resulted in fatalities. Your employer is obligated to ensure a safe work environment, which includes making sure that walkways are clear of debris or that proper measures are taken to warn you of hazards, such as “wet floor” signs or roping off a dangerous area.
Equipment-related injuries, violence and animal attacks
Perhaps you’re a delivery person who often has to enter private property to deliver packages. What if a homeowner’s dog bites you while you’re on the property? Animal attacks account for many workplace injuries, as do heavy equipment and machinery issues and violence, such as physical assault.
Length of recovery depends on severity of injury
If you slip on a banana peel while working in an Illinois office, you might suffer a pulled muscle or sprained ankle and be back to work after taking several days off to recover. However, if you break a bone or hit your head on a hard surface, resulting in a concussion or other brain injury, you might have to take several weeks or longer off from work during recovery.
In some cases, such as a motor vehicle collision or machinery accident, an injury might be so severe that you’re unable to ever return to work. The medical care you need, severity of injury and length of recovery are each a determining factor regarding the benefits you’re able to collect through workers’ compensation. If your employer or an insurance agency denies your claim, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out for additional support to appeal the decision.