Tips on Staying Safe in the Workplace in Iowa

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Posted by Brian C. Ivers

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No matter whether you work in an office or a construction site, inside or outside, there are a few tips that every Iowa worker should follow to keep themselves safe in their workplace.

Know Your Rights as an Iowa Worker

Every worker should familiarize themselves with what rights they have within their workplace.  According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workers have the right to:

  • A safe workplace free from serious hazards;
  • Protective equipment free of charge;
  • Information, including workplace injury and illness records; and
  • File a complaint with OSHA without retaliation from their employer

If you believe your rights are being violated, speak with an employment attorney to find out what your next steps should be.

Reduce Workplace Stress

Stress is something everyone faces in the workplace, but too much of it can be detrimental to your mental and physical health.  Here are a few ways to reduce or remove workplace stress while on the job in Iowa:

  • Set up boundaries between home and work – Many people feel like they need to be available for work-related matters 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, this can result in never feeling completely removed from work.  If you’re able, don’t check work email from home in the evening, or leave your phone off for the weekend.
  • Take your vacation days – Burnout can happen when you stay too focused on work for too long. Using your vacation days to unplug and focus on family and friends will help you recharge your batteries.
  • Talk with your supervisor – Your supervisor may be able to help, but don’t approach them with a list of complaints. Instead, explain what is stressing you out and offer some potential solutions.  Many supervisors want to see you succeed, and will work towards that goal with you.

Report All of Your Work Injuries

If you have been injured at work, you need to tell your supervisor as soon as you can.  In Iowa, you have 90 days to tell your employer that you were injured at work, or you may lose out on any workers’ compensation benefits.

It’s a good idea to tell your employer about any injury, even if you believe the injury is not serious.  However, if you have been seriously injured, talk to a workers’ compensation attorney.  The initial consultation is usually free, and an attorney can give you options on how next to proceed.

Never assume that workers’ compensation is the only way to get compensation for your injuries. Third-party claims may be a way to get you compensated for harms and losses that workers’ compensation will not cover.

Stay safe!

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