Getting injured in the workplace isn’t a good thing, but it is distressingly common. Many workers who get injured on the job don’t tell anyone, though. They decide that it’s a good idea to keep things quiet and work through the pain, usually out of fear of missing work or even of losing their jobs. If you’re injured at work, though, it’s vital that you speak up about your injuries. Listed below are just a handful of reasons why speaking up is incredibly important.
A Matter of Health
The obvious place to start is with your own personal health. When you get injured, you need help. You need to see a doctor and you absolutely need to be put in a position in which you can be made whole. Choosing to work through the pain isn’t being a good worker and it’s certainly not being tough – it’s making a foolish choice that can cause you even more pain in the future. What might be a minor injury today could become something much more serious if it’s not treated, so why risk your own health just to satisfy the requirements of a job? While you might face some consequences, it’s better to do so knowing that you’ll have your health in the years to come.
Losing Your Rights
One of the biggest reasons to speak up about getting injured is that you only have a relatively short amount of time to get help or compensation from your workplace. While you might work for a great company that will tend to your needs months or even years after the initial cause of the problem, the truth is that companies are only compelled to help you when they have some sort of liability. It’s very hard to prove that something at work was the cause of your injuries when there are weeks or months between the incident and reporting, so you absolutely can lose your ability to get help from your company if you are too afraid to speak up quickly.
It’s also important to remember that you’re not the only person who gets injured on the job. When you get injured, you actually just one of millions dealing with a workplace injury, one of the countless people in the same position. When you refuse to speak up, though, you’re normalizing that refusal. You are making it harder for anyone else in your position – or in a worse position – to talk about their injuries and to get the help that they need. While you might not want to take responsibility for others, the truth is that every action that you take will resonate throughout your industry. If you don’t speak up now, you may be responsible for stopping someone else from speaking up later.
Finally, choosing to speak up when you get injured on the job helps to keep those who create your working conditions responsible for what happens to their workers. In a best-case scenario, reporting your injury will help those who own your business to become aware of unsafe conditions and to make changes. In other cases, it might only be your injury that makes your company admit that it’s following unsafe practices, which in turn will make your job safer for everyone else with whom you work. It’s always important to stop and look at how your injury occurred and what could have been done to prevent your injury. If the cause was because of negligence or incompetence, someone needs to be held responsible so that things will change for the better.
When you report a work injury, you’re changing the way your business. You’ll help yourself, help millions of other workers, and make sure that the conditions that caused your injury will change. Though it can be frightening to speak up, remember that what you are doing is protected under the law. You have a right to a safe workplace, and you have a right to help when you are hurt working for someone else. If you are hurt, speak up so that you can ensure that your workplace becomes safer in the future.