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Survey: many workers afraid to report workplace injuries

Many people are injured in workplace accidents every year in the United States. Workers in Massachusetts should report a workplace injury right away to help companies address any safety hazards. Injured workers can also apply for workers' compensation but this is only possible if they report their injury. 

You would think most workers would be reporting their injuries in the workplace. Unfortunately, a new survey found that nine percent of workers in the U.S. are scared to report a workplace injury or illness because they think they may be fired, harassed or suffer other consequences. 

The survey reported that roughly one in 10 workers did not report a workplace injury because they were afraid of retaliation at work. This is a disturbing finding as workers should never be afraid to report an accident or injury. 

It appears that some workers are not reporting even serious injuries or illnesses. The survey found that the most common types of injuries that went unreported were slip and falls, carpal tunnel injuries, burns, injuries caused by machinery and workplace violence.

These types of injuries can be very serious and mean that workplaces have significant safety hazards or violations that could lead to more injuries and accidents. Employers are supposed to protect workers from being injured. This includes making sure workers feel comfortable and free to report any safety hazards and injuries they suffered in the workplace. 

Workers should never be scared of retaliation after suffering a workplace injury. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has protections for workers who report an injury or safety hazard in the workplace. Workers can also contact a workers' compensation attorney for help after being injured at work. 

Source: FindLaw, "How Many Workplace Injuries Go Unreported?" Brett Snider, Dec. 20, 2013

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