Every year, thousands of employees suffer a workplace injury but don’t report it. Instead, they will downplay their pain and suffering and return to work the next day as if nothing happened. Even if reporting a workplace injury allows employers to address the root cause, employees have many reasons to remain silent.
Here are some challenges employees may face that prevent them from speaking up about their injuries.
1. Fear of retaliation and termination
Fear is often the primary reason workers don’t disclose their injuries. If they hear about the company firing or blaming another employee after a workplace accident, they might assume that reporting an injury leads to punishment.
Because most employees cannot afford to lose their jobs, they’d rather suffer in silence than report what happened and miss work.
2. Unaware of company processes
Confusing company policies and processes could leave injured workers unsure of what to do next. Employees may not report injuries promptly if they don’t understand how the reporting process works or when it is too time-consuming.
3. Lack of support
Upper management is crucial in creating a positive work environment and policy implementation. When they address safety concerns and provide support to injured workers, they promote a culture of safety.
Conversely, if management discourages reporting or creates a hostile work environment every time an accident happens, workers may believe they have no choice but to deal with their injuries alone.
Sometimes employers will attempt to cover up incidents to deny employees their benefits, avoid bad press or keep up appearances. However, preventing employees from reporting and violating safety and health standards can result in penalties and hefty fines.
When considering the larger picture, businesses benefit more when they prioritize employee safety. It may lead to happier workers, who, in turn, are more productive.