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Workers' compensation: Refusing unsafe work is not disrespectful

Workers have the right to refuse tasks that put their lives and welfare on the line. Unfortunately, many workers have grown up with the idea that refusing orders shows disrespect. In Florida and elsewhere, many workers' compensation claims could be avoided if employees did not fear reprisal should they refuse hazardous tasks.

Most workers would like to believe that their employers have their welfare in mind, only to learn that their safety often comes after production quotas, tight deadlines and other things that could affect the bottom line. Safety authorities encourage workers to report illegal, unethical and dangerous acts in the workplace, but the risk of retaliation scares many workers. It is essential to learn when a complaint is appropriate and how to go about reporting it.

In some industries, almost all tasks are hazardous, but employers who provide adequate training to learn about potential dangers and how to mitigate them prioritize employee safety over profits. They also provide the necessary personal protective equipment along with training in the proper use of it. Their employees would likely never need to refuse dangerous jobs because they are well-prepared.

Workers who suffer work-related injuries may pursue claims for benefits, regardless of who was at fault. An experience  Florida workers' compensation attorney can assist with the benefits claims process. In most cases, medical expenses and lost wages form part of the compensation while those who suffer permanent disabilities might be awarded additional benefits. These might include vocational training to equip the worker with new skills to pursue a different occupation.

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