As a Phoenix business owner, you have many responsibilities. Keeping your employees safe at work is one of the most important ones.
An employer has an obligation to provide a safe working environment for their employees. This includes, but is not limited to, making sure they have all of the tools, equipment and safety training they need to do their job safely. If a worker is injured on the job, you are required by law to report the incident and make sure they get medical treatment if necessary.
If you are unable to provide these things for your employees then it may be time for you to rethink how you run your business or hire someone else who can help with these tasks so that everyone stays safe and healthy.
Understanding Arizona Workers’ Compensation Law
While Arizona is an at-will employment state, it still requires employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. This is a no-fault insurance that covers employees who get injured on the job.
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to workers who are injured while on the job or in the course of their employment. Business owners in Arizona, who employ at least one employee, must provide reasonable medical treatment, temporary and permanent disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation services, and death benefits for employees who are hurt or killed during employment.
Workers’ compensation provides benefits regardless of fault or liability. In Arizona, workers’ compensation insurance covers medical costs for injuries that arise out of or occur in the course of employment. It also covers 70% of lost wages up to 66% of the average weekly wage, as well as death benefits for family members in case the employee dies due to a work-related injury or illness. In exchange for these guarantees, injured workers may not sue their employer for negligence in court.
When you have questions about workers’ compensation claims, it’s important to consult with a Phoenix workers compensation lawyer who has experience handling these cases. For example, if you are concerned about being sued by an employee who was hurt on the job, you should consult with an attorney who can help you protect your rights and interests as an employer.
Injuries That Qualify For Workers’ Comp Benefits
Not every injury or illness qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits. In order to qualify, a worker must suffer an “injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment” (A.R.S 23-1031). In other words, there must be a physical injury case.
To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you must file a claim with your employer in a timely manner and may be asked to undergo an independent medical examination to determine if your injury was caused on the job. This can be difficult to prove, especially if you were not given a drug test at the time of your accident.
If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied by your employer, you have the right to appeal this decision and are entitled to receive benefits even if you are partially at fault for causing your own injury.
Taking Care of Your Employees At Work
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (1970) obligates employers to provide workers with a safe working environment. This includes providing workers with reliable equipment that is properly maintained and in safe working condition. No matter what type of business you’re running, it’s incredibly important to keep your employees safe.
Provide a Healthy and Safe Environment
Providing a safe working environment is a basic legal requirement for all U.S. employers, regardless of whether they are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance or not. Employers must take steps to eliminate hazards and correct unsafe conditions in the workplace wherever possible. In some cases, this may require making significant changes to equipment and processes in order to reduce potential risks for employees. When change is not possible, employers should provide suitable training and supervision so that employees can minimize the risk of injury on their own.
Make Sure Your Employees Know Your Safety Rules
Another thing you should do is have a safety handbook. This can be a pamphlet or a sheet of paper with bullet points, but every worker should have it. The handbook should include basic rules of conduct and what can be expected of employees and managers.
Offer Safety Training Courses
You must also provide proper training for all employees who will be working in any capacity with machinery or equipment that could be dangerous if misused. For example, if you are using a forklift, drivers must be trained on how to drive safely. If you are using any other power tool, the operator must know how to use it properly and safely.
When you are given equipment to perform your job, it is the obligation of your employer to ensure that the equipment is in good working order before they expect you to use it. It is also their obligation to monitor the equipment regularly and repair it when necessary. The employer’s failure to keep equipment in good working order can lead to serious injuries for employees.
If you operate any kind of truck or vehicle on your property, there are certain safety aspects that must be taken into account and enforced. For example, the seats in your truck should be adjustable so that each driver can adjust his or her seat to his or her own comfort level while driving. You also need to ensure that all employees wearing any kind of protective gear understand how to use it correctly.
Ultimately, employers have a responsibility to make sure that their workers are safe at work. Federal, state, and local regulations carry different requirements for safety measures, but one thing remains the same: employers have a duty to keep their workers safe.
It’s essential for employers to follow the law and protect their workers from on-the-job hazards. If they don’t, they must take responsibility for the results. Employees have the right to insist on safe working conditions without being fired for doing so, and violations of these rules are illegal.
Credits to Atty. Jason M. Ferguson
Jason M. Ferguson, the founder of Ferguson Law Group, started his career working for an automobile insurance company as a trial attorney before owning his injury law firm for over 20 years. Attorney Ferguson has a unique experience, having tried cases on both sides of the court system in personal injury trials, unlike many other lawyers. Mr. Ferguson also served over 14 years as an Army Reserve officer and the Georgia Air National Guard. The Albany Herald recognized him as one of southwest Georgia’s “40 under 40” in 2010.