Your employer has always gone over the importance of wearing personal protective equipment. You usually wear your PPE, because you don’t want to get hurt and do want to be able to avoid serious injuries in the case of a major accident.
Today, you tossed on most of your PPE, but you couldn’t find your safety glasses. Now, you have an injury and are concerned that you won’t be able to seek workers’ compensation since you didn’t follow the rules.
Getting workers’ compensation after an accident
Usually, even if you weren’t wearing the appropriate PPE, you can still seek workers’ compensation. While you might be right that you should have been wearing PPE, it was also your employer’s responsibility to make sure that you and all your colleagues knew the importance of always having your PPE on. Whether you just forgot to put on one part of your PPE or you couldn’t find PPE to put on, you should still be able to seek workers’ compensation for the injuries that you’ve suffered.
There is an exception to this rule, though, which is that you may not be able to get workers’ compensation if you intentionally harmed yourself. For example, if you knew that by not wearing your safety goggles you’d be putting yourself in harm’s way but did so hoping for an injury, then your claim could be denied. Intentions matter in these cases.
Wearing the right PPE can prevent serious injuries
Personal protective equipment is designed to prevent serious injuries. Whether you’re asked to wear safety goggles, steel-toed boots or other gear, you need to do so to keep yourself safe.
If you’re hurt when you’re not wearing the right PPE or were wearing the right gear but weren’t protected enough, you can pursue a claim. You may be able to seek vocational rehabilitation support, coverage for the cost of your medical care, replacement wages and other benefits through the workers’ compensation system after you’re hurt.
Remember, you have to let your employer know you were injured as soon as possible. Then, you can look into making a claim.