Many workers in New Jersey, especially office workers, manual laborers and those in the manufacturing industry, are putting themselves and others at risk for on-the-job injuries by not reporting all incidents. Incident reports are legal documents that can indirectly tell employers where they need to improve their organization’s safety. They provide valuable real-life data to go by, especially when they are backed by eyewitness testimony.
Incident reporting can raise awareness of a number of threats in the workplace: for instance, the threat of employees who come to work intoxicated, or the threat of workers who bully or sexually harass others. There are also hazards posed by faulty equipment and machinery, a lack of equipment, inadequate safety training and a lack of hazard controls.
Employers can then make the needed improvements, such as by improving training or installing new equipment, in order to take preventative action. Incident reports inspire more urgency than if an employee were to only speak about what happened.
With greater safety comes greater efficiency as workers will take fewer days off work for sickness or injuries. A workplace where the employees are safe and healthy will also be one with a low turnover.
When there is a lack of communication between managers and frontline workers, the risk for accidents will only increase as safety concerns are ignored. Those who are injured on the job have the ability to seek compensation. Under workers’ compensation law, they can be reimbursed for all medical expenses, for short- or long-term disability leave if applicable and for a portion of their lost wages.
It may be advisable to consult a lawyer before filing for benefits. Employers have the right to deny payment if victims were clearly at fault for their injuries. A lawyer may assist with the appeal if the claim is denied.