Workplace injuries are common everywhere, including in occupations that are considered the safest, such as programming. However, while on-the-job accidents are common across all occupations, some professions and lines of work expose employees to more risks than others. Those employed in occupations with high risk for injuries should be aware of the imminent risks and the necessary measures to mitigate injury risks.
Generally, healthcare personnel, immigrant workers, firefighters, and law enforcement officers are at high risk for workplace injuries across the U.S. However, young and newly hired workers are at a higher risk for workplace injuries in a place like Michigan, for example. If you happen to live in Grand Rapids, for instance, and either you or your loved one sustains workplace injuries, consult a workers’ comp attorney in Grand Rapids, MI, for guidance on claiming compensation.
Why Are Newly Hired Workers Likely to Be Injured at Work?
According to the BLS, new employees are five times more likely to sustain workplace injuries than experienced workers. Surprisingly, 40% of workplace accidents affect employees who’ve been employed for less than one year. That aside, one in eight accidents occurs during the first day. New hires are prone to workplace injuries for the following reasons:
- Inexperience – some work environments, such as construction sites, are full of hazards by nature. New employees are exposed to countless dangers that require stringent precautions to prevent physical injuries.
- Newness to work – new employees are susceptible to workplace injuries primarily because they aren’t familiar with the work environment, even with some experience in their previous employment. Newly hired employees also lack awareness of their workplace safety rights. Employees in Michigan have a right to refuse unsafe working conditions.
- Hesitancy – new employees are often hesitant to make inquiries at work. Not asking questions, especially in dangerous jobs, increases their risk of injuries.
Newly hired employees also often work hard to please and show their capability to supervisors and employers, even if the tasks are beyond their physical ability or expose them to more danger.
How Employers in Michigan Can Protect New Employees from Workplace Injuries
Employers can reduce the injury risks for new employees through:
- Focusing on safety right from the hiring process: Employee safety starts from their first day at work. As such, employers should formalize their hiring process, primarily the job description, to ensure they hire the right fit. Job descriptions should outline the employer’s expectations regarding employees’ adherence to safety practices.
- Conduct a regular job safety analysis: A job safety analysis describes the dangers associated with different job positions and safety practices to minimize the risk of injuries. This analysis also helps employers provide job-specific safety training based on first-hand employee risks instead of general awareness.
- Activate an accident analysis program – employers should use lessons from past accidents to prevent future accidents. Conducting an accident analysis helps employers identify the primary causes of accidents and implement corrective/preventive actions.
- Offer continuous training – new employees aren’t the only ones exposed to workplace injuries. Even experienced workers can sustain injuries due to various reasons. Therefore, employers should provide continuous safety training to their employees, especially if they are switching departments or returning from transitional roles.
What New Employees Should Do If Injured At Work
New employees should do the following if they sustain workplace injuries:
- Seek medical attention – injured employees should seek medical attention, regardless of the severity of their injuries. Seeking medical attention ensures that your injuries don’t threaten your life. That aside, medical records and treatment details are also important for claims processing.
- Report your injuries to your employer – employees should also make a formal report to their employers. Your employer should investigate the accident and file an incident report, which also helps process claims.
- Learn your rights – most new employees miss their accident compensations because they don’t know their rights. Besides, claiming worker’s compensation is very intricate and challenging to proceed without an attorney. Therefore, victims of workplace accidents should promptly hire a personal injury lawyer to help them file their claims.
The Bottom Line
Reporting to your new workstation is certainly exciting. However, the new workplace environment and inexperience can expose new employees to serious workplace accidents. Newly employed workers in dangerous work environments, such as mining or construction sectors, should prioritize safety education and adhere to safe work practices to minimize accidents.