Each day millions of non-fatal workplace injuries occur. Whether a worker is burned, cut, or breaks a bone, the process a worker should follow after an injury is the same. Of course, first and foremost, the safety and welfare of all those involved must be ensured. Once this has been assured, there are several legal and procedural activities that need to be completed so that both the employee and employer are covered. So, what are the immediate steps a worker should take when they get injured at work?
The Steps to Take If You Get Injured on the Job
Report the Injury to a Supervisor Immediately
As soon as an employee is injured, they should stop working and report the injury to their supervisor. In some states a verbal notification is enough, other states require that an injury notification has to be in writing.
Seek Medical Attention
As soon as notification has been given to your supervisor, seek medical attention immediately at the nearest medical facility. Make sure to inform medical providers that you were injured on the job. After receiving treatment, get copies of your medical reports and discharge papers, as you will need these documents if you file a worker’s compensation claim. Follow-up with any medical providers that you are told to contact after your initial ER or urgent care visit.
Write an Injury Report
Even if you are in a state where verbal notification of an injury is enough, it is still expected that an injured employee write an injury report. Check with your supervisor to see if your employer has a standard form that is to be used. If not, write out a report that lists the following:
- The date and time the injury occurred.
- What you were doing when you got injured and where you were located.
- All equipment and machinery you were using.
- The names of co-workers who witnessed the incident.
- Name and contact information for your supervisor.
- The time and date you notified your supervisor of your injury.
If You Plan to File a Worker’s Comp Claim, Notify Your Employer First
If, after an injury on the job, you decide to file a worker’s comp claim, you need to notify your employer first. Legally, once an employer finds out about the injury, they must provide the injured worker with a claim form. Note that, until the form is completed, the employer has no obligation to provide benefits to the worker. Once the form is finished, make sure that you retain a copy for your records. Injured workers should expect to hear from their employer’s insurance company about the status of their claim within 14 days.
Workplace injuries are experienced by millions of workers daily. It is essential that if a worker suffers an injury on the job that they take some simple steps to protect themselves and their employers. Actions such as notifying a supervisor of the injury, seeking medical attention, and writing an injury report are crucial to dealing with the aftermath of a workplace injury.
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