A workplace emergency can happen at any time — and usually when you least expect it. Many emergencies can pose a significant safety hazard and result in serious injuries.
An emergency that impacts the safety of employees, customers, vendors or the public can occur in a variety of ways. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists the following types of emergencies in the workplace:
- Natural disasters including tornadoes, hurricanes and floods
- Release of toxic gas
- Chemical spills
- Radiological accidents
- Civil unrest
- Incidents of workplace violence that cause bodily injury and trauma
Injuries Occur Even When Everyone Is Following Workplace Emergency Procedures
In many cases, OSHA stipulates that employers with more than 10 workers must develop and implement a written Emergency Action Plan. Companies with 10 or fewer employees can deliver oral instructions. The written plan needs to spell out the procedures the employees should follow in the event of a workplace emergency.
While a well-crafted and carefully executed EAP can minimize risk, injuries can still occur in an emergency. The situation often unfolds so quickly that injuries are unavoidable. In one common scenario, employees can get hurt during a work evacuation when everyone is scrambling for the nearest exit.
Getting Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Workplace Emergency Injuries
An injury resulting from a workplace emergency could leave you unable to work for an extended period, which can make it difficult to pay your bills and put food on the table. The medical bills can also pile up in a hurry, which can create a dire financial situation for any individual or family.
In Pennsylvania, workers who are injured in the course and scope of their employment may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to help them meet their financial needs while they recover. Workers’ comp helps to cover lost wages and medical expenses that can arise after a workplace injury. It can also provide death benefits to a spouse and minor dependents in the wake of a fatal injury.
Follow the Appropriate Steps After the Incident
If you get hurt during an emergency at work, you’ll need to report the incident to your employer as soon as possible to maintain your potential eligibility for workers’ comp benefits. Following emergency care, You may also need to see an employer-approved physician who can assess the nature and severity of your injuries.
Even if you follow this protocol to the letter, your employer and its workers’ comp insurer may attempt to deny your claim to avoid the costs. If this happens to you, enlist the services of a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer right away.
Contact Frommer D’Amico for Help With Your Workplace Emergency Injury Claim
Frommer D’Amico specializes in workers’ compensation cases in Pennsylvania. Our experienced, certified workers’ comp attorneys will work on your behalf to help you get the benefits you deserve. Contact us online or give us a call at 717-400-1000 for a free case review today.