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Work Rights: Understanding The Benefit

There is much confusion on what a Right to Work principle is (we’ll callt them R2W states for simplicity’s sake). Most people look at these work rights as a “right to get fired”. This is simply not true. The R2W principle allows for every American to work for a living, without the pressure to belong to a union.

Work Rights: What are These Principles?

Right to Work Law

No person is made to join a union and pay union dues as a condition of employment. These work rights laws also ensure that employees are not forced or coerced into joining a union. Additionally, it’s important to notice that these states are not “anti-union”. Instead, R2W states focus on the freedoms of the individual employee.

Public Sector vs. Private Sector

In the public sector, every state is a R2W state. In the private sector, work rights are a little different. All states in the Southeast fall into this category, but major states like California and New York have forced unions.

Standard of Living

When states enact work rights, the quality of life is seriously considered. One of the positives of being in these states is the higher quality of life. Compared to those states that force unionization, R2W states have higher after-tax income. In addition to this benefit, families in these states have more buying power. Last but not least, there are lower unemployment rates.

Negatives of R2W Laws

Conversely, not all the work rights are positive. Those who oppose these specific laws point out that sometimes non-union employees benefit from their union counterparts. Additionally, Democrats have a lot of support from Union members. This means that most states that are fall under this category endorse Republican parties.

Both forced unions and the R2W states have their positives and negatives. If you have questions about what your rights are in your states, consult with a lawyer. While you may live in one of these states, you still have rights regarding employment.

Advantages and Drawbacks

At the end of the day, no matter which category your work state falls under— there will be some benefits and some negatives. However, it is important to get familiar with your rights as an employee, an employer, or someone who plans to relocate for an employment opportunity. Do your research, be prepared, and make sure you have protections in place in case of any unexpected work injuries or unforeseen circumstances.

Workplace Fire Safety

Since 2014, fatal workplace injuries due to fires have been decreasing. This is in large part due to better workplace fire safety. Knowing what you can do in your workplace to prevent and handle fires can help keep you and your coworkers safe…

Workplace Fire Safety: Setting Safety Protocol 

Watch for fire hazards

It’s important to be aware of potential fire hazards in the workplace. After all, good workplace fire safety means taking a proactive approach. However, different workplaces can have different fire hazards. Therefore, you should be aware of the unique hazards you might find. Common fire hazards include flammable liquids, gases, and high-heat equipment. Dusty workplaces also pose a fire risk, especially if you’re using tools that cause sparks. Even piles of papers and cardboard can be fire hazards due to them potentially being fuel if a fire breaks out. 

Have fire extinguishers ready

If a fire does break out in the workplace, you need to know how to handle it. Smaller fires can potentially be put out with the use of a fire extinguisher. That’s why good fire extinguisher knowledge is key for workplace fire safety. You should know where your workplace keeps their fire extinguishers at all time. Additionally, make sure you know how to properly use the extinguishers as well. If you don’t feel confident, you can ask your supervisor to go over how to use them just in case.

Have an exit plan​

If a fire breaks out that can’t be controlled by an extinguisher, then you need to have an exit plan. Know where the quickest exit routes are and follow them in the case of a fire. You should also have other routes memorized just in case your main route is inaccessible. Try to go over your emergency workplace fire safety plan with your supervisor. This will help you know where you need to go and what you should do when you get there.

Many workplaces will also have diagrams posted with exit routes as well for you to check. Good workplace fire safety is important for keeping you safe in case a fire breaks out. Remember that your safety is the priority. If the fire is out of hand, evacuate and let the professionals handle it.

Lifeguard Safety: Protection for All

Lifeguards play an important role of keeping people safe at beaches, pools, swimming holes, and other bodies of water. However, when it comes to guarding lives… lifeguard safety is also part of the equation. To protect the people around you, you must first protect yourself. So, we’re here to help you do just that. Following, we will provide you with a few tactics to keep yourself safe, and in turn, the people around you.

Lifeguard Safety: Protecting Yourself

Use sun protection

Lifeguards have to stay out in the sun for long periods of time. However, this constant exposure can cause more than just a tan. Sunburn and skin cancer are some risks that lifeguards have to be aware of. Generally, good lifeguard safety means taking steps to be protected from the sun. For example, it’s a good idea to wear a good sunscreen of at least SPF 30 or higher. The sunscreen should be reapplied every few hours, especially if you’ve been in the water. Good hats and sunglasses also help offer added shade and protection from the sun.

Stay hydrated

Lifeguards have a pretty physical job. They must quickly reach people who may be struggling in the water and get them to safety. This can quickly wear a person out, which is why it’s an important part of lifeguard safety to remain energized. That’s why lifeguards should make sure to stay hydrated when on the job. Generally, it’s recommended to have at least 2-4 glasses of water for every hour out in the sun. It’s a good idea to bring extra water bottles in a cooler to keep the chilled throughout the hot day. 

Injuries Resulting From Injuries

Lifeguards have to account for any number of things at one time, aside from lifeguard safety. From slippery pavement, to people who can’t swim, rip currents, or other unexpected circumstances. No matter where you are working, there are unique injuries that you might encounter as a result. In turn, when issues begin to happen, others might begin to panic— making it difficult for you to work properly, and avoid lifeguard injuries. Take, for example, someone drowning. When they are panicking and you go to help, they might unintentionally pull you down and put you at risk of a similar injury.

Injured lifeguards should seek out first aid ASAP. After all, their well being is just as important as those they are watching over. They can also take steps to help reduce this injury risk. This can involve keeping the pool area clean, and keeping panicking people calm when rescuing them. Lifeguards have a tough but necessary job. The importance of their jobs means they must make sure to keep themselves healthy when on job. Everyone swimming is safer when the lifeguards are safe as well. Therefore, lifeguard safety should be a concern both to the lifeguard and to everyday people.

Worker’s Comp Questions: Common Curiosities

Like most things involving employment and the law, worker’s compensation benefits can come with a lot of questions. The worker’s comp questions that you have are probably the same questions that a lot of others have. If you have been injured or involved in an accident at work, we can help. Since each case is different, please consult an attorney for assistance regarding your particular case.

Worker’s Comp Questions: What People Are Asking

What should I do first?

After an accident, you should report it to your employer. In these cases, sooner is better. You must report this to your employer within the time frame your state allows. Additionally, you should report injuries as soon as they become apparent. Your employer should create an accident report. This report will help in your claim to benefits. As one of the most popular common worker’s comp questions, it’s important that employees know their rights.

Which doctor should I see?

Usually, your employer will have their own doctor that their insurance requires you to see. This is one of the common worker’s comp questions that has varying answers, however. The doctor you see for your worker’s compensation claim may vary by state, so do not just assume your normal doctor is the right one to see. Keep in mind, you may wish to gain a second opinion. In these cases, your regular doctor would work well however make sure you are documenting everything and consulting with a lawyer, as well as your employer.

I’m at fault. Now what?

Luckily, the whole point of worker’s compensation benefits is to protect the worker, no matter the fault. Common worker’s comp questions like this have conditions, however. You will be covered if you did not inflict the accident yourself. Also, accidents as the result of a drug or alcohol influence will not be covered.

What benefits will I get?

Lastly, this common worker’s comp question does not have a concrete answer. Depending on your situation, your state, and your employer, you benefits can vary. Also, your situation will dictate what kind of benefits are acceptable for you. The list of common worker’s comp questions goes on and on. It is easy for others to tell you what to do, but consult an attorney before taking any advice that may jeopardize your worker’s compensation claim. In summary, knowing what your benefits are, what you should do, and what you shouldn’t will help you on your journey to a successful worker’s compensation claim.

Workplace Re-Entrance: Post-Injury Improvements

A worker’s compensation claim can follow with a couple different things. Some will modify your duty at work, and others mean time off to recover. However, your employer and the insurance company may be eager for you to return to work. You shouldn’t rush returning to work— it can be detrimental to your recuperation. Even you might feel like you are ready to make a workforce re-entrance. Remember that there are several steps you need to take before doing so after a worker’s compensation claim.

Workforce Re-Entrance: Getting Back in the Swing 

Talk to Your Doctor

Your doctor will become a common point of contact after a workplace injury. He/she will develop a plan for recovery. This plan will project when you can make your workforce re-entrance. Your doctor will clear you to return when they feel you are medically sound. After reaching your peak improvement level, you should consult your doctor. Sometimes, doctors may allow you to return to your job with modifications or restrictions.

Be Prepared

If you are allowed to return to work with restrictions per the doctor, be prepared. Bring a note with those details to your employer. You should keep a copy of this note for your records. Be advised that workforce re-entrance with restrictions is important to your full recovery. If your employer does not follow the doctor’s orders, please consult your legal representation.

Stay Connected

Staying in contact with your doctor is important. What’s also important is staying in contact with your employer. Giving your employer updates on your status and recovery will make your workforce re-entrance smoother. These updates lets your employer know you’re taking your recovery seriously. When you do return to work, make sure you inform the proper authorities that you are doing so.

Make a Plan

When you make your workforce re-entrance, making a plan is a good idea. You can make this plan with help from your employer. Therefore, you, your employer, and even your doctor will have a clear and concise means of planning for your return and what that looks like.

Don’t Rush

Lastly, a workforce re-entrance probably means you’ll start making the same amount of money that you made pre-injury. If a doctor has given medical clearance for you to start working again but you still feel like something is wrong, consult your lawyer as soon as possible. Ask any questions you have regarding your case before returning.

Eye Injuries: Unexpected Workplace Incidents

Eye injuries are surprisingly common in the workplace. Many of these injuries tend to be avoidable if proper safety measures are taken. Being aware of eye injury causes and what you can do to protect yourself can help keep you safe at the workplace…

Eye Injuries: Causes & Protection

Common causes

Different workplaces may have different causes of eye injuries. For example, workers who do a lot of cutting or sawing will have to watch for flying bits of metal or wood. Meanwhile, workers who handle chemicals will run the risk of these chemicals potentially entering their eyes. Even light can be a risk if a worker is handling lasers or other high-intensity light sources.

These hazards can also show up in combination with each other. This further increases the chances of a worker receiving an eye injury. This is why it’s especially important for workers to take steps to protect themselves.

Remove risks before working

The best kind of protection against eye injuries is being aware of what could be a risk in the first place. It’s important to preform safety checks of your workplace before you start your work. This will not only let you spot and remove potential eye hazards, but other hazards as well. 

For those risks you can’t remove, try to use some other safety options available to you. For example, many machines will come with guards or screens. These can help you still see what you’re doing, while also having an added layer of protection if things go wrong.

Eye protection

Of course, there is always eye protection. Eye protection is the most preferred and commonly recommended way of preventing eye injuries. Eye protection will let you have that full control over your work while also keeping yourself safe. 

The kind of eye protection you should use depends on the work you’re doing. Safety glasses can help keep your eyes safe from flying debris. Goggles will help protect your eyes when handling chemicals. If you’re working with intense light, you’ll want to make sure your eye protection also comes with UV protection as well.

Eye injuries are something that no worker wants to deal with. That’s why it’s crucial to know what you can do to keep yourself safe. Taking those steps to protect your eyes will ensure you can do your job safely and productively. Furthermore, if you are facing this type of injury (or any type of injury), it is important to make your employer aware and properly document your condition.