When young workers start their careers, everything they learn about workplace safety during those first few months will form the basis of their personal safety culture. It can instill in them the sense of independence in knowing that they are responsible for not only their own safety but also to look out for their co-workers.
If you have just recently joined the Kansas City workforce, developing positive safety protocols might serve you well throughout your working life. You may have had summer jobs working in restaurants or retail stores, gaining valuable experience. However, the volumes of customers during the busy summer months could have possibly conditioned you to speed through your work with little or no consideration of safety. Unfortunately, when you start certain full-time jobs, rushing has the potential to cause serious harm, and so can other factors like fatigue, frustration and complacency.
Characteristics that can benefit young workers
If you want to grow as an employee and protect yourself from harm at the same time, you will likely want to take the following into consideration:
- Safety awareness: Your lack of experience might make you think that on-the-job injuries cannot happen to you. Learning as much as you can about the potential hazards you might face can change that perception and teach you to recognize safety risks and also how to avoid injuries.
- Do not hesitate to ask questions: Learning about the hazards of your job and putting it into context require more than lectures, and working with an experienced co-worker can give you the chance to gain first-hand knowledge and the opportunity to ask questions. Knowing why they do things in certain ways can drive the importance of safety home.
- Recognize your physical limits: You might find that you can do more and work faster than your older mentor does, but it is crucial to avoid overexertion. Fatigue and exhaustion can set in if you do not pace yourself and take adequate breaks, and instead of impressing your boss, you might end up making crucial errors that could lead to injuries.
- Hold back on the need to impress: Eagerness to show your employer that it was a wise move to employ you is only natural. However, the need to impress might make you forget about personal safety as you rush to finish a task ahead of the deadline.
- Workers' compensation rights: Something to keep in mind from your first day on the job is that accidents happen -- to anyone, at any time and anywhere -- and that you are entitled to workers' compensation insurance benefits. Familiarize yourself with the steps to take if you should suffer a work-related injury.
Help is available
Dealing with the complicated claims process after suffering a work-related injury could be overwhelming. However, an experienced workers' compensation attorney in Kansas City can assist with the navigation of your claim, and can help fight for your rightful compensation in cases where a claim may have been wrongfully denied.