What happens to workers injured by machinery or robots?
When people think of technologically advanced employment, they often think of Silicon Valley, not Pittsburgh. However, from cutting-edge medical facilities to manufacturing companies, there are many businesses that may have complex machines and even robots performing work alongside humans.
Robots and similar machinery help reduce the physical wear on workers caused by performing their jobs. They also reduce the likelihood of human error by automating delicate or complex tasks. Unfortunately, the presence of heavy machinery or robots in a work environment means that the people working there also have another potential source for serious injury.
What happens if someone ends up cut, burned or otherwise seriously injured by a machine or robot at work?
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation can help
In any professional environment, a worker injured by a piece of machinery or a robotic device will need to report the incident to their supervisor. In some cases, there may be regulatory agencies that require notice of certain kinds of injuries or malfunctions.
Once you have reported the incident, you can then file a claim, and workers’ compensation may cover your medical care. If the doctor evaluating you recommends a leave of absence from work, which is common with serious injuries, workers’ compensation can also provide short-term and long-term disability benefits. If an injury will force you to move into a different job where the pay is lower, there might even be permanent partial disability benefits to reduce the change in your overall wages.
Fault doesn’t eliminate your right to benefits
Frequently, human error plays a role in job injuries related to machinery or robots. People get too close or forget to monitor their surroundings, with painful results. The good news is that even when it is quite clear that the worker is the one who made a mistake rather than the robot or machine malfunctioning, the no-fault protection of workers’ compensation insurance will still cover the costs.
The worse your injuries are and the greater the impact on your earning potential, the more important it becomes for you to advocate for yourself during the benefits claim process, or you may end up receiving far less than you need to cover the impact of your injuries. Recognizing when a workplace incident makes you eligible for workers’ compensation benefits can help you minimize the impact of a job incident on your life.