I heard an interesting idea the other day, and I had to write about it. There are so many thoughts racing through my mind; writing seems to be the only thing that helps. Anyways, I was trimming the oak tree on my front lawn when a guy rides by on his bicycle. I live in a bike-friendly area, so I didn’t think anything of it. Then he stops and turns to me. I noticed him out of the corner of my eye, but I didn’t acknowledge him right away. I just kept on trimming the tree.
He shouts over to me from the road, “You better be careful! That limb you’re cutting could fall on your head. I hope you have coverage for workers’ compensation.” And he proceeded to ride away down the street. I stopped what I was doing and took a step back. Sure enough, he was right. At the angle I was cutting into the limb, it could have quickly started to fall before I was done cutting it and dropped right onto my ladder, or worse, my head.
I wasn’t too far up; maybe ten feet or so. But who knows where my saw would have landed. If the branch had knocked me off of the ladder, I could have dropped the saw and cut myself pretty severely.
He didn’t stick around long enough for me to talk to him, so I shouted a quick, “Good call. Thanks.” It was crazy to me that a stranger’s random suggestion might have saved me a trip to the hospital with a nasty cut or a broken leg. That guy on the bike wasn’t around for very long, but his words have stuck with me. What if I needed help? If I had fallen and hurt myself, how long would it take for anyone to notice? This is the stuff that haunts me in my sleep now.
He mentioned workers’ compensation, and it got me thinking about the subject. I’ve never been injured at work or even considered the need for income if I was hurt to the point that I couldn’t clock-in. I started digging a little and found this interesting site. I had no idea that companies with a certain amount of employees are supposed to carry workers’ compensation coverage through an insurance company. That explains a lot. The other surprising thing I discovered is that companies have an incentive to avoid paying their injured workers through their insurance policy because their premiums will go up. I couldn’t believe it. Apparently, some companies try to save money by denying their employees coverage when it is needed most.
It may sound like a scary bedtime story, but it happens. Law firms are out there fighting the good fight and protecting their clients from unreasonable business practices. I’m glad that I avoided dropping a limb on myself, and I hope you’re safe out there too. You never know when an accident might happen, or the uphill battle you could be forced to overcome to recover.