If you were hurt in an industrial incident, you should understand your rights.
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What to do after an industrial accident
Following an industrial accident, first you should seek immediate medical attention. Following that, notify your manager or supervisor of the incident. If a fatality has occurred, immediately call 911 and notify a supervisor.
All employers must notify the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) when an employee is killed on the job within 8 hours. OSHA is also to be told within 24 hours if a worker is hospitalized, suffers an amputation or loses an eye. To do this, either call the nearest OSHA office or call the OSHA 24-hour hotline at 1-800-321-6742. You can also report the accident online.
Industrial accidents FAQs
What damages can I recover after an industrial accident in Georgia?
Remember to report the incident to your supervisor to start a paper trail as soon as possible as many states have deadlines (statute of limitations) in order to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Once the process has started, depending on circumstances, a worker injured on the job could be entitled to receive:
- Medical benefits
- Lost wages
- Temporary disability benefits
- Permanent disability benefits
- Death benefits
Additional benefits may be available for those who suffer amputations, hearing or vision loss.
When do I need a workers’ comp lawyer after an industrial accident?
You could — and should — reach out to an attorney as soon as you are able following a workplace accident. An attorney can help guide you through the process and make certain all “I’s” are dotted and “T’s” crossed so that you don’t miss out on any benefits.
Can I get benefits even if I was responsible for the accident?
Yes. Even if you were negligent and found responsible for the industrial accident, you are still entitled to benefits. In Georgia, workers’ compensation is owed regardless of who’s at fault for the accident.
Don’t take your employer at their word if they say your workplace injury isn’t covered.
Contact us today for your free consultation.
Common causes of industrial accidents
The leading causes of industrial accident injuries in Athens are:
- Explosions and fires
- Exposure to or mishandling of harmful chemicals
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Falls from heights
- Slip, trip, or fall accidents
- Accidents involving heavy machinery or defective tools/equipment
- Struck by falling tools or object
Workers carrying out their job duties at industrial plants like chemical processing, food processing, manufacturing, or oil and gas extraction facilities may fall victim to injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, severe burns, amputation, loss of vision or hearing, spinal cord injuries and full-body paralysis.
How to prevent industrial accidents in the workplace
While some workplace injuries are no fault of the employee, there are some ways both employers and workers can prevent industrial accidents. These safety tips include:
- Keep workspaces clean and uncluttered
- Have a safety plan in place
- Post signage where appropriate
- Continuously educate employees and management
- Regularly perform vehicle and machine maintenance
- Identify safety vulnerabilities and ways to improve
- Provide proper training and equipment
- Don’t take shortcuts
- Provide personal protection equipment (PPE)
We cannot stress enough the importance of using all provided safety equipment, and not taking shortcuts while on the job. It can save a limb, and maybe even your life.
Compensation for workers injured or killed by a heavy machine
Workers’ compensation settlements come in many different shapes and sizes. In the event of a heavy equipment accident, your benefits may fall into one of the following categories:
- Permanent total disability. This means you can’t return to work, whether for your current employer or any future employer.
- Permanent partial disability. This is when you suffer a permanent injury that partially restricts your ability to work.
- Temporary total disability. This is when you’re completely prevented from working for a limited period of time.
- Temporary partial disability. This means you’re prevented from doing some, but not all, of your job functions for a limited amount of time.
Being a victim of an industrial accident can be life changing. Recovering from a serious accident at an industrial facility or factory can take a great deal of time — that is, if recovery is even an option at all. Some industrial workers are left permanently maimed or handicapped. A workplace accident such as this can drastically change a person’s ability to continue working, or even live a normal life.
Nationwide, more than 10,000 people each year are severely injured in industrial accidents, usually from falls, toxic exposure, burns or injuries to limbs. In past years, Georgia workers have been severely injured in an aluminum plant explosion, killed while working at a paper mill, and hurt while working at industrial factories such as Powertech America.
When a person is killed in an industrial accident, it’s common for OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) to investigate. One important aspect of workers’ compensation in Georgia is that with industrial accidents, you only have 30 days to report your injury to your boss, and failure to do so may impede your ability to recover any benefits. But remember, unless your manager witnessed the incident, verbally telling them isn’t enough. You must use some other form of written documentation such as sending an email and completing any provided company paperwork.
If you or a loved one were injured in an industrial accident in Athens, the next steps you take are very important. After seeking medical care and notifying your employer, we strongly recommend you reach out to our Athens law office to learn about your rights and responsibilities under Georgia workers’ compensation law. Your first consultation is free, and our experienced work injury lawyers can explain how to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible.
Our record of winning accident cases in Georgia speaks for itself:
Find out how our experienced Athens, GA workers’ compensation lawyers can help.
It can take quite some time before workers’ compensation benefits kick in. If you were seriously injured in an industrial accident, or if a family member was killed on the job, it’s essential that you file the proper paperwork immediately to get the process started. Obtaining your benefits can be a complicated affair, so it’s recommended that you have someone fighting on your behalf.
At Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys, we have decades of experience and have faced every imaginable situation. Our attorneys will fight on your behalf for any and all benefits. You don’t have to go it alone. Instead, you should concentrate on healing or grieving for your loved one. Tell us about your case today. Your first consultation is free.