The right safety gear can mean the difference between a safe work environment and a deadly injury on the job.
What gear? Well, common safety equipment includes helmets, knee and elbow pads, eye and ear protection, and fire extinguishers. You can speak with your employer about the safety equipment you need—make sure that any gear provided to you is properly maintained and repaired.
In New York, if you have been injured at work due to a lack of proper safety gear, you can file a workers’ compensation claim immediately. Speak to an experienced injury lawyer for more information.
What Is the “Proper Safety Gear?”
Appropriate safety gear really depends on the type of work you do. Someone sitting at a computer for eight hours a day does not need the same gear as a carpenter working on a construction site. When you’re hired, your employer should review the job’s safety practices and make sure tools are provided to protect you. If you think you need additional gear, do not hesitate to voice your concerns and assure your own safety.
Gear Maintenance and Upkeep
Once you have the right equipment to stay safe on the job, make sure your employer is properly maintaining and replacing it as needed. An old ladder that no longer locks (or feels unstable) is an accident just waiting to happen. Ear protection needs to be effective to block loud noises, and eye protection needs to be secure to keep dangerous chemicals or sparks from reaching your eyes. Other items like fire extinguishers should be tested and replaced regularly to ensure they work properly.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Injured?
After any injury at work, make sure you report the injury to your supervisor or employer right away and file a workers’ compensation claim. You should see a doctor as soon as you can, since it is important to have proof of the injuries you sustained. If you wait, your employer may argue that your injuries occurred off the job. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should cover your injuries, though claims are sometimes denied. If this happens, immediately speak with an experienced lawyer to appeal your denial and make sure your claim is handled properly.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, at (212) 986-7353. Tell us what happened and we can work with you to make sure you are compensated fairly.