Workplace injuries are more common than a lot of employers realize. It’s estimated that about 31 million injuries that require medical assistance occur on the job each year. Theoretically, these injuries could happen within any industry, which is why it’s so important for employers to purchase workers comp insurance. Think about how easily a person could slip and fall on a wet floor while working in a restaurant. Though this might not seem like a major issue, you would be surprised by how easily that person could end up with a serious injury. Workers compensation exists for a reason. Employees in a variety of different environments take it upon themselves to accomplish tasks for their employers. Though they are of course paid for their work, they shouldn’t be endangered in the workplace. Therefore, if something does happen that causes them to be injured, there need to be guidelines as to how they should be compensated.
Workers compensation doesn’t just cover the grievances of injured employees. It is meant to help them pay for hospital bills that they would otherwise not have to worry about. A seemingly minor bone repair could potentially cost an individual thousands of dollars out of pocket, depending on their health insurance plan. Furthermore, that employee could very well spend days out of work, for which they may or may not be compensated depending on their employers’ leave policy and how much leave they have at their disposal. Some workplace injuries are so severe that the employees are permanently unable to return to work, either due to physical injuries or mental trauma. This could lead to them getting work in another industry, but some people are left permanently disabled by workplace injuries. Therefore, workers compensation can help bridge the gap while those that can still work seek employment, and while those that can’t move to receive other types of benefits. Either way, this compensation is important, and shouldn’t be overlooked. If an employer does not purchase workers comp insurance, not only would they potentially be at risk of being in legal trouble should an employee be injured on the job; it could also send a negative message to other potential employees, and make the company in question appear negligent.
With that being said, certain industries need to be more aware of the risks regarding workplace injuries than others, due to their inherent dangers. Employers in these industries must purchase workers comp insurance in order to better safeguard themselves and their employees. Below, we’ll explore which industries need to prioritize workers comp insurance most.
1. The Plumbing Industry
It cannot be doubted that plumbers work quite hard. The industry is quite necessary, and virtually all homeowners and landlords will eventually require the services of plumbing companies at one point or another. Plumbers are often called to handle emergencies, and while some have specific working hours, others offer 24 hour repairs. The physical labor involves is quite strenuous, with plumbers either staying on their feet or in uncomfortable positions for hours at a time. For these reasons alone, a lot of plumbers develop stress injuries over time, and can often be left with damage to their joints and backs. Some plumbers may even be forced to retire early or leave the industry due to this type of damage. At times, these types of cases could be eligible for workers compensation, especially if the employers of these plumbing professionals did not properly ensure that their employees were as safe as possible on the job.
Plumbing also holds risks for sudden injuries. It can be quite a risky job under the right circumstances. Just the amount of water that plumbers deal with alone can create hazardous work environments; think of how easy it is to slip and fall under those conditions. Plumbers also deal with toxic waste at times, which could potentially open them up to the risk of infections. The heavy equipment that they carry, and simply the prospect of pipes or other fixtures breaking, could lead to them being injured. The plumbing industry is a more hazardous industry than it may initially appear to be, and employers within it must purchase workers comp insurance if they want to be prepared for all possibilities.
2. All Mechanical Repair Industries
Maintenance is required in virtually every industry that relies upon machinery. Whether you’re looking at the auto repair industry, or the manufacturing industry at large, machines do eventually wear down and break. The best way for machines to be kept “alive” and as long-lasting as possible is for them to be carefully maintained by experts. Employees within this industry do a lot of hard, heavy work; however, they also must maintain a strong degree of technical knowledge. It can take years for mechanical repair technicians to build up their skill levels, and quite often these skills are remarkably specialized. For example, someone who trains to work in hydraulic component repair would not necessarily be able to quickly move into the auto repair field. Therefore, they can’t be expected to switch between job sectors easily. This is one reason why employers within various mechanical repair industries purchase workers comp insurance. If someone loses the ability to work on one type of machine due to injury, it’s not as if they can just jump into a different type of repair field.
When working with machinery, it’s remarkably easy to get injured. The machine could unexpectedly start running again, either due to user error or an unexpected event, while the technician is physically working. A piece of heavy equipment could simply be dropped. Consider how heavy helicopter parts are, for example, and imagine the damage they could do to the human body. Often, when a person is seriously injured while accomplishing repairs, the damage is quite permanent. It’s not unheard of for repair technicians in a number of fields to lose limbs. These employees need to know that they will receive compensation in these cases. Otherwise, it could be quite difficult to attract potential employees to these industries.
Another issue to consider when looking at repairs is that these employees are often well-compensated for their work, sometimes relative to their education and sometimes without considering their education. Therefore, if they can no longer offer repairs, they are often facing a severe drop in income even if they can work in other industries. A lidar services repair technician, for example, may not necessarily be able to make the same kind of money if they were forced by injury to switch careers. This is yet another reason why it is necessary for the employers of repair technicians to purchase workers comp insurance.
3. The Road Work Industry
In general, there are a number of hazards that come with working on road repairs or maintenance. Yet it’s also so necessary for our roads to remain in good shape. If a road is damaged or worn down, there is more of a risk for cars to be damaged and for drivers, in turn, to be injured. With that being said, a lot of road workers find themselves at risk of injury as well, considering the amount of time that they spend in an area that can’t often be shut down or blocked off. Quite often, road workers end up in the emergency room because they were working at night, or simply because a driver wasn’t paying attention.
There are a number of different tasks involved with road work. Some workers are employed by paving contractors and are responsible for re-paving local roads and highways alike. Others simply move debris out of the road. Those these jobs require various levels of skill sets, it’s nonetheless easy for people to get hurt. The fact is that if employers of road workers don’t purchase workers comp insurance, they’re being irresponsible and putting themselves and their employees at risk of serious financial consequences.
4. The Metal Finishing Industry
There are a number of different aspects to metal finishing, many of which are quite physical and therefore could lead to employees being injured rather quickly. Keep in mind that metal finishing could involve heating pieces up until they’re smoothed, or for that matter grinding pieces down. Metal finishing often involves using burnishing tools, which can easily malfunction and cause injury even if the employee using them is well-trained. There’s a lot of technical skill involved in metal finishing that often doesn’t get enough credit. However, much like repair technicians, those within the industry may learn much less money if they must leave it due to injury.
One reason why it’s important for these employees to have access to workers compensation is that they are very much needed, particularly within the manufacturing sphere. It’s impossible to make a number of products without properly finishing metal, and as these employees are being asked to put in a lot of hard labor, it’s understandable that they would expect access to workers compensation in turn. Again, one of the aspects of employers choosing to purchase workers comp insurance plans is that they realize the benefits that they offer to their employees, and the peace of mind inherent to them as well.
5. The Healthcare Industry
While it may be difficult to think of healthcare as an industry, is nevertheless is, and its employees often work within high risk environments. Consider the fact that in an urgent care center, a lot of employees are working for less pay than they would in a hospital, and are facing the same risks. Sick and injured patients, some of whom may be violent, move in and out of the center at a rapid rate. Employees, many of whom are quite skilled, must respond quickly and can often become sick or hurt themselves. This is particularly noticeable in a post-pandemic world, where a lot of healthcare workers became sick due to their exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
Healthcare workers are vital to our society, no matter how big or small their roles may be within the industry. It’s impossible to make a good health plan without their guidance. Therefore, it’s important that the risks that they take are acknowledged, and that employers within the healthcare industry purchase workers comp insurance. It’s also important to note that the healthcare industry itself is nothing without these employees. Often, a good amount of schooling is required to work more specialized jobs within the industry, even if you aren’t a doctor or nurse. These employees then must work long hours, with equipment that often requires further training. The healthcare industry offers a lot of different jobs, and while it can be competitive, at this point in time there is more demand for workers than ever. These employees need to know that they’ll be taken care of if they get sick, and it may be very difficult to find good healthcare workers if a quality compensation plan is not offered.
Most employers should consider it a priority to purchase workers comp insurance. It’s crucial to a number of different industries, particularly those to which risk is inherent. As we live in an increasingly unpredictable world, in which there are now more risks to simply going outside than there were just months ago, it’s true that employees are fighting for good jobs. At the same time, however, they may find it difficult to justify working for a company if they’re not protected should they be injured on the hob. For that matter, just because an employer isn’t transparent about offering workers compensation doesn’t mean that employees won’t pursue it if they are injured. Companies could and have been financially damaged when workers compensation is not offered, and they are forced to pay out settlements to injured employees.
Both employees and employers benefit when a company has good workers compensation insurance. Therefore, purchasing it should not be debated, but rather treated as a necessary part of a company growing and remaining competitive in potentially hazardous industries. After all, a business is nothing without great, qualified employees.