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Workers at heightened risk of injury in first month on job

Landing a new job can be an exciting time for a Georgia worker, but those early days at the job site impose a greater chance of workplace injury on a new hire. A research study by the Institute for Work & Health found that people have triple the risk of injuries that cause them to miss work during their first month of employment compared to co-workers that have been there for more than one year.

A scientist from the institute notes that new workers lack familiarity with their duties and awareness of workplace hazards. Insufficient training also appears to leave new hires vulnerable. A Canadian worker survey from 2007 revealed that only 20 percent of respondents received safety training.

With part-time or temporary positions becoming more prevalent, more workers are continually entering new situations. Specific industries, like agriculture, fishing or forestry, often hire seasonal help, which might explain their high rate of injuries among workers with under one year of experience. Construction workers also have high injury rates. Seasonal work, subcontracting and frequently changing job sites contribute to unfamiliarity with potential hazards. Employers have an obligation to inform workers about hazards and provide them with workplace safety training.

When a person gets hurt on the job, regardless of whose fault it was, workers' compensation benefits are generally available. These benefits can include the payment or reimbursement of medical bills and, in some cases, the replacement of a portion of a worker's lost wages. Many injured workers obtain the assistance of an experienced attorney when preparing and submitting their claim documentation.

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