Minor injuries occur in the workplace every day. From bumps and bruises to more serious lacerations and puncture wounds, injuries can occur anywhere and at any time. While a majority of employees recognize the importance of reporting major injuries to their employer, what about minor injuries? Do they still need to be reported?
It is estimated that 10% of all minor workplace injuries will turn into a full-blown workers’ compensation claim. This means that one in ten workers will have a seemingly minor workplace injury progress into something more serious. Unfortunately, if they failed to report the original injury to their employer, they may have lost the ability to file a workers’ compensation claim and collect the benefits they are entitled to.
Minor Injuries Can Quickly Turn into Serious Injuries
As an example, suppose you trip on the stairs in your workplace, and you hurt your back slightly during the fall. As weeks pass, your back pain becomes more pronounced before finally being diagnosed as a herniated disc. The herniated disc may require surgery to correct and could result in extensive rehabilitation. This is a case of a “minor” injury turning into a major problem, which could actually cause a lifelong disability, as well as an inability to work.
Reasons People Fail to Report Minor Injuries
There are numerous reasons why employees fail to report minor injuries. Some of the most common include:
- Concerns that it will effect injury frequency numbers in the workplace
- Not wanting others – specifically a boss or supervisor – to think that they do not have the best interests of the company at heart
- Fear it will jeopardize their careers
Unfortunately, all of these fears are unfounded, and in fact, many companies are beginning to proactively encourage their employees to report minor injuries before they become more serious.
Aside from looking out for your own health and future, reporting minor injuries in the workplace can also illuminate hidden safety risks at your place of employment. Perhaps where you were injured, others could be injured as well. Maybe equipment at your workplace or existing safety measures need an overhaul, or there are other issues which need to be addressed.
Until someone speaks up and the underlying causes of minor injuries are identified and resolved, injury numbers and costs may continue to climb. As such, you should report minor injuries not only for yourself, but also for the safety of others.
Have You Been Injured on the Job?
If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied or you believe you’ve missed a deadline for filing a claim, it is important to speak to an experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorney. At Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A., our workers’ compensation attorneys are conveniently located in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and Orlando. Contact us today at 561-687-5660 for a free consultation and review of your case, or fill out our confidential contact form and someone will call you back.