Workplace injuries can range from small sprains and bumps to broken bones and serious medical emergencies. Although employers and employees alike try to keep the workplace as safe as possible, accidents are bound to happen. This is why the proper steps must be taken after an accident does occur to ensure that employees receive the care they need.
In general, a workers compensation claim should be filed for any work-related injury. Even small injuries can later turn into a large issue. For example, say a heavy box falls off a shelf and hits an employee on the head. They feel a little dizzy and have a small lump on their head but decide not to file a workers compensation claim. Later they go home and their loved one rushes them to the hospital to realize that the employee is suffering a bad concussion.
Since the employee did not file a workers compensation claim, they will either have to pay for their medical bills out of pocket or file a claim against their employer to receive compensation. Workers compensation not only helps employees with medical bills, but it can also prevent lawsuits related to workplace injuries.
This means that no matter how big or small, injuries at work should be documented and claimed.
Other Steps to Take After a Workplace Injury
Also keep in mind that a workers compensation claim has to be approved by the insurer in order for the employee to receive any benefits. One step to ensure an employee may receive compensation is to make sure that they seek medical treatment immediately.
Most workers compensation policies have a list of approved healthcare providers which an employee must go to after a workplace injury. If the employee fails to receive medical attention within an allotted time (typically 30 days), a workers compensation claim may be denied.
Other steps to take directly after a workplace injury include:
- Clear the area of the injury
- Call emergency services if necessary
- Administer first aid if applicable
- Inform an immediate manager
- Block off the area of injury so others cannot get hurt
- Document the accident with witnesses and pictures, if possible
- An employer should call the insurance provider
Before an accident occurs, make sure all employees are trained to know what to do in case of an accident, including administering first aid and calling emergency services.
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