July 24, 2021

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Work injuries - legal definition, rights, and understanding of work-related accidents

Work injuries - legal definition, rights, and understanding of work-related accidents

Work injuries – legal definition, rights, and understanding of work-related accidents

There exist videos about the most dangerous jobs in the world. From structural Iron / Steelworkers and Truck drivers to farmers and Aircraft Pilots… the range is huge. Still, the industries mentioned are needed and people work there every day with risking their lives. Each morning they leave their house knowing that they might get injured in some way. 

There is always the possibility of having an accident. The reasons can be various. Sometimes people are not paying attention for a second, maybe they do a mistake or they simply get involved in a dangerous situation. Moments of abstraction, a maintenance problem, or because of an interference humans can be put in danger and risk of getting hurt or seriously injured.

Getting injured is not automatically the mistake of the person, sometimes others cause an accident or a machine is responsible for an injury.

Even for people working in a comparatively safe environment, it is very important to know about what work injuries are. What are the legal rights and consequences and what has to be done after a work accident?

What is a work injury?

Synonyms for work injury are work accident, occupational accident, or accident at work. All the expressions define the event a person gets injured or ill at or because of work. This includes people who get injured at work directly or as a direct result of the tasks they had to do. The injury or illness can be physical or mental. 

The International Labor Organization says that more than 337 Million accidents happen in a job each year and around 2.3 Million result in deaths. 

There are different expressions that try to include all types of injuries and illnesses. From “in the course of work” and “physical and mental harm” they try to define all possibilities that can happen. Still, in some cases, it is not always clear if accidents on the way to work are defined as work injuries or not. Various organizations and stakeholders try to define it as detailed as possible, to ensure the rights of the workers as best as possible.

Work injury rights

Some industries have a higher rate of injuries while others rarely have work-related accidents. Work injury rights are part of a company’s responsibility because they are the ones who are legally responsible and can be prosecuted as an entity. The work safety of a company should be on the highest possible level in the interest of the company and its staff. This can be understood on a human level as well as on a legal basis.

In the best case, all employees have work insurance (provided by the employer) that covers all kinds of injury and sickness related to work without any retention. Furthermore, employees have a right to receive compensation or injury costs if they had a work accident.

Having a clear regulation of safety measures increases a company’s reputation amongst partners, investors, clients, and of course employees. The staff will feel motivated, safe, and showing more productivity.

It also benefits a company in financial ways. It reduces costs of potential injury costs/ compensation and keeps the worker safe.