Many Florida workers will avoid claiming benefits for workplace injuries because they fear losing their jobs or having their immigration status in jeopardy. It’s not the best idea to “tough it out” after a workplace injury because long-term disability could result. Not reporting a workplace injury could cost you benefits and lost wages.

Many manual labor workers fear termination if they report a workplace injury. Immigrant workers fear detention, being under or uninsured, and deportation if they notify their employer of an injury.

You cannot be fired for a workplace injury.

In most cases, you cannot be terminated because you were injured at work. Improper handling or unsafe behaviors can result in termination, but you cannot be fired for legitimate work-related injuries. Trying to push through injuries can result in additional injuries and put others at risk.

A doctor should see ankle and back injuries. A simple solution may entail icing or heating the affected area. After a few days of rest and pain meds, you may return to work. Returning to work doesn’t mean you won’t experience additional pain and need to be seen again by the doctor. Keeping records of activities that increase or improve pain can help doctors make the best recommendations.

Some common and uncommon workplace injuries.

Manual laborers almost expect a workplace injury. They work around sharp objects, flying sparks, and heavy-duty machinery. Goggles and other safety gear might not protect you from all injuries. Liquid splashes can hurt the face, cuts can still get through work gloves, and work boots don’t protect against each ankle sprain. The following is a list of workplace injuries that occur frequently:

  • Back pain from falls
  • Cornea abrasions from airborne debris
  • Knee pain from frequent lifting
  • Eyestrain from extended computer viewing

Workplace injuries occur in every industry. Self-diagnosing is tempting but is best left to qualified physicians. Joint injuries are often unreported. A physician should also evaluate other uncommon injuries such as stress and anxiety. Documenting these injuries protects you down the line if you’re no longer able to work.