Employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe work environment per the Occupational Safety and Health Act, OSHA. The must provide safe equipment, safety gear, and train employees in a language they understand to avoid and prevent known health and safety hazards.
Even with the safety rules and regulations of OSHA, according to the National Safety Council, a worker is injured on the job EVERY 7 SECONDS. Construction, manufacturing, and transportation are among the occupations with the largest number of injuries resulting in lost time from work. Personal injury lawyers know what kind of physical and financial impact workplace accidents can cause and what to do when you get hurt at work.
Report Your Accident and Injury
If you’ve never been injured on the job or been around when someone is injured at work, you may not understand what to do if it happens to you. OSHA advises workers to call a supervisor for help if injured, and if a supervisor is not available, to call 911 for medical assistance. Reporting an accident and injury as soon as it happens is the policy at most places of employment. Failure to report a workplace injury within state-mandated deadlines may result in losing your right to file a worker’s compensation claim.
You should notify your employer when an injury happens, even if someone like a co-worker or manager urges you not to do so, and even if you don’t think it’s serious or needs medical attention. There are deadlines for filing worker’s compensation claims, and not reporting an incident can cause delays or problems with claims for benefits.
Get Medical Attention
When you are injured on the job, get medical attention right away even if your injury doesn’t seem serious. You should see a doctor when a work-related accident or on-the-job injury occurs, or at the first sign of symptoms that might be from work duties or hazardous exposure.
It’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible so that your recovery is faster and so you have proof that your condition is work-related. Delaying treatment may make your injury worse, and it can make claiming benefits problematic, possibly resulting in denial of benefits and requiring an appeal, which delays compensation. If you’ve been injured on the job and don’t get medical attention, you also risk making the injury worse and complicating your treatment and recovery.
Keep a Paper Trail
When you are injured at work, it’s important for you to keep a paper trail of everything pertaining to your injury, treatment, and employment status because they may impact your worker’s compensation claim and benefits. There will be documentation that occurs and is required both by your employer, your medical providers, and state worker’s compensation laws. Documentation will help get your claim approved and paid, and will be valuable if an appeal is made.
In addition to your notification to your employer that you were injured at work, keep any completed forms such as an employer accident report, any medical notes especially work restrictions, return to work release, documentation for time off and expenses, eye witness reports/statement, and medical records about your treatment and condition.