Tornadoes wreaking havoc in the US is nothing new. Every year, the situation with these storms in the US is progressively getting worse. In 2021, things took a serious turn for the worse in Illinois.
USA Today reported that six people were killed when a tornado hit Edwardsville, Illinois, and smashed through an Amazon warehouse. The walls and roof of the warehouse collapsed which led to the death of these six individuals, all of whom were Amazon employees.
The Edwardsville Amazon warehouse collapse is a tragedy in every sense. However, it’s also something that should be studied, especially by blue-collar workers from all fields.
In this article, we’ll explore six takeaways for blue-collar workers from the Edwardsville Amazon warehouse collapse incident.
#1 Seek Immediate Medical Attention
According to Liberation News, apart from the deaths, the Edwardsville incident also caused serious injuries to several others. Had they not received immediate medical attention, their chances of survival would have significantly decreased. Thus, the first and most crucial takeaway after a warehouse accident is to seek immediate medical attention.
Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it is essential to have a medical professional evaluate your condition. Some injuries, such as internal injuries or concussions, may not manifest symptoms immediately but can be life-threatening if left untreated.
Keep in mind that under Workers’ Compensation laws in many jurisdictions, you are entitled to receive medical treatment for your injuries. Report the accident to your supervisor or employer as soon as possible and follow the recommended course of medical treatment. Delaying medical attention can worsen your condition and complicate your recovery.
#2 Document the Accident
After receiving medical attention, document the details of the accident as thoroughly as possible. This documentation will play a crucial role in any potential legal proceedings or claims. Write down a detailed account of what happened, including the date, time, location, and circumstances leading up to the accident.
Take photographs if possible, capturing the scene of the accident, any equipment involved, and your injuries. Also, don’t forget to collect the contact information of any witnesses who might have witnessed the accident. This documentation will serve as valuable evidence should you need to file a workers’ compensation claim or pursue legal action against negligent parties.
#3 Report the Accident to Your Employer
In most jurisdictions, reporting a workplace accident to your employer is a legal requirement. Notify your supervisor, manager, or HR department as soon as possible, ideally on the day of the accident. Provide them with the written documentation and photographs you collected.
Your employer will initiate an incident report, which is essential for their internal record-keeping and for any potential workers’ compensation claims. Reporting the accident promptly helps ensure that you receive the necessary support and that the incident is properly investigated to prevent future accidents.
#4 Understand Your Workers’ Compensation Rights
According to the Workers’ Compensation Board, NY, workers’ compensation is designed to provide financial support to employees who are injured on the job. It typically covers medical expenses, a portion of lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. Understanding your workers’ compensation rights is crucial, as it can significantly impact your recovery and financial stability.
Consult with your employer’s HR department or a legal professional knowledgeable in workers’ compensation to ensure you are aware of your rights and responsibilities. In some cases, employers may attempt to discourage or delay claims, so it’s essential to know your rights and advocate for yourself.
#5 Consult with Legal Counsel
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may need to consult with legal counsel. If there was negligence on your employer’s end, you may be entitled to compensation. This compensation is separate from your workers’ compensation benefits. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the complexities of personal injury claims and assess whether pursuing legal action is in your best interest.
Several victims of the Amazon warehouse collapse got in touch with personal injury lawyers to seek legal action against the company. In most cases, each of them opted for an Edwardsville personal injury lawyer to handle the legal process. That’s because local lawyers are more adept at handling cases within their geographical jurisdiction.
According to TorHoerman Law, if any negligence is found on the employer’s end, these personal injury lawyers can take stern action against them. This, in turn, will result in compensation for you, the workers, something that can be used for covering your losses and medical bills.
#6 Focus on Recovery and Prevention
Lastly, one of the most crucial takeaways for blue-collar workers after an accident is to prioritize your recovery and prevent future accidents. Physical therapy, rehabilitation, and medical appointments may be necessary for a full recovery. Your healthcare provider can guide you through the recovery process, so don’t worry if you have no idea what to do here.
Additionally, take an active role in preventing future accidents by participating in safety training programs and adhering to safety guidelines and procedures. Report any potential hazards or safety concerns to your employer promptly. By actively participating in safety measures, you can help create a safer working environment for yourself and your colleagues.
Edwardsville’s Amazon warehouse collapse was something most people didn’t think was possible. Yet, it happened, and that’s just the nature of natural disasters.
Whatever the reason, as workers, you shouldn’t have to bear the costs of your workplace-related injuries. Thus, keep these takeaways in mind. That way, if you ever face something similar, you can take necessary action to get justice and/or compensation for your losses.