CHARLESTON, SC—They embed nails in their foreheads and walk into industrial fans; slice through fingertips with simple office tools and step on live wires; withstand assaults by bats, ducks and cows; walk off of ladder rungs and sustain all manner of breaks, bends and smash-ups in daily battles with heavy machinery.
It’s a dangerous world for lots of hard working men and women, and a new study by the Steinberg Law Firm finds that South Carolina workers don’t always know what to do in the event of a workplace injury or feel able to report it.
In the wake of Labor Day, the firm is releasing results from a recent online survey of South Carolina workers, which underscores why workplace safety continues to be worthy of attention.
· More than half of respondents (51%) report that they are exposed to illness or injury at work daily and another 10 percent are at-risk at least monthly. Happily, one-third reported they are “rarely” exposed to injury or illness at work.
· While 60 percent of those surveyed said nothing would prevent them from reporting a workplace injury (primarily to a supervisor), nearly one-quarter—or 22 percent—said that fear of missing work would cause them to continue working, and 19 percent said fear of being fired would drive them to keep their injury or illness a secret.
· Forty percent of respondents said they believed an injury or illness must be reported within 24 hours in order to receive workers compensation benefits. (Yet South Carolina statute typically allows for a two-year period in which a report can be filed).
· Happily, 79 percent of respondents know where the worksite first aid kit is located, and 85 percent can locate a fire extinguisher at their place of employment.
· Almost a quarter of respondents (24 percent) have never been informed about workers’ compensation policies at their current job, not even a wall sign.
The survey is being conducted throughout South Carolina and so far has randomly polled more than 150 individuals employed full- or part-time. Respondents hailed from the Lowcountry, Pee Dee, Midlands and Upstate working in a variety of industries.
The Steinberg Law Firm was founded in 1927 and helped write workers’compensation laws in South Carolina. With three offices in the Lowcountry, attorneys with The Firm are called upon to help injured people and their families. Other firms enlist The Firm to help with cases involving large groups or to manage brain injury cases also enlist Steinberg attorneys.