Why Do Some Workers Not Report Injuries?

Homer-liftingMost people wake up and go out to a job where they try to make a living for themselves and their families.  There are also people who work some very dangerous jobs, blue collar jobs, and hardworking manual labor jobs.  With these jobs or any job for that matter comes the potential for an injury to occur.  Some workers incur injuries and fail to report them for a variety of reasons, we are going to cover a few reasons that may keep workers from reporting injuries.  When a injured worker does not report an injury it as potential to be bad all around, they can further damage their own body if the injury is not correctly treated.  They could also put the lives and health of themselves, fellow workers, or innocent bystanders if they are injured and cannot fulfill their job properly and safely.

Here are some reasons why an injury may not be reported right away:

  1. The injury is thought to be something minor – When a person is injured they may believe that is is just a strain or pull that will heal overnight or in a couple days and think nothing more of it.  It takes time to report an injury and see the clinicians and if a worker believes it will heal overnight they do not want to burn that extra time.  People also want to believe that it is something minor if when it may not be – there are bills to be paid and families to support so lost time due to injury means lost paychecks because you are not collecting your full wage when out workers comp.
  2. Workers are threatened by their superiors not to report an injury – we have posted stories about this before where a worker may get injured on the job and a owner pleads with them not to report it to the state saying they will fire them or they will take care of all the bills.  Let’s get something out there – this practice is illegal.  You cannot be fired because you were injured on the job.  Employers do not want injuries reported to the state sometimes because they will see increases in premiums, etc.
  3. An injury is accumulated and worsened over time – people who are constantly lifting heavy things day in and day out put their bodies through a tremendous amount of stress.  Over time this can lead to injured discs, torn muscles, nerve damage.  When repeated stress on the body has years of work behind it an employee may think that it is normal.  It starts off with a sore back, then it progressively gets worse, next thing you know you have to get cortisone shots to block the nerve damage that is now there.  If you think the pain you are experiencing is work related – report it.

If you get injured on the job no matter how insignificant you think it may be make sure you report it.  This way if you do end up with a problem later on there is a record that you sustained the injury on the job.  Workers compensation was designed to help the people who get up and get out to make a living everyday, although we may not want to end up on comp there may come a time when you need it and that’s what it is there for.

What's your take? Continue the discussion with others over at the WCInsights LinkedIn Group.
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