Whether you work in a library or as a maintenance worker for a chemical manufacturing plant, one thing is certain: accidents happen. No matter the number of precautions you take, sometimes a workplace accident is unavoidable. What do you do in these instances? What steps should you take in the event that an injury occurs while you are on the job? We discuss this topic in today’s blog post.
Steps to Take After a Workplace Accident
You wear your safety equipment, follow all regulations and guidelines, and take every precaution. You always look behind you, bend at the knees, and keep an eye out for any hazard. Then one day, the unavoidable happens; despite your best efforts, you suffer from a workplace accident. What now?
While a great majority of job site injuries are preventable, the truth of the matter is, they still occur. Often these accidents are no fault of your own and may well be someone else’s fault. Suddenly you find yourself losing your livelihood, your health, or worse.
If you are the victim of an on-the-job injury, you need to not only know your rights but what steps to take. Failing to act quickly – and properly – could endanger your ability to financial recoup what is owed to you. It can also affect your ability to keep your job and have other, more serious consequences.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) division of the United States Department of Labor has some frightening STATISTICS FOR WORKPLACE INJURIES that illuminate how common accidents are.
Know Your Rights: Workplace Injuries
In virtually every state, if you receive a workplace injury, you are most likely entitled to workers compensation. While the laws can -and do -vary from state to state, the fact is, nearly every employer is mandated to carry workers compensation insurance.
When you first begin your employment, be sure to familiarize yourself with your company’s policy regarding workplace injuries. Learn and adhere to any safety precautions your employer requires. This may include taking training courses, wearing safety equipment, and adhering to government guidelines for chemical and equipment handling.
In the event that you are injured, you will need to prove that it is not your fault and that you did everything possible to avoid an accident.
Workplace Accident: Seek Help Immediately
Your first concern should be to ensure that you – and any co-workers – involved in a job accident are safe. If a fire breaks out, for example, you will want to evacuate the area and then call an emergency responder. Once you are in a safe place and out of immediate danger, your next step is to alert the appropriate people about the incident.
Depending on the situation, this could be a 911 dispatcher (in the event of a life-threatening injury) or your immediate supervisor, depending on the severity of the wound. Even if you are not 100% certain of the nature of your injury, you should alert someone; certain injuries may not be readily apparent until hours – or even days – after they occur.
Failing to make a note of a possible injury right away can lead to problems when you file your claim later on. Never take a chance; if a workplace accident occurs, seek help.
Workplace Inuries: Make an Accident Report
Depending upon your state, you likely will have a limited amount of time to file an accident report. If you fail to do so in a timely manner, you may miss out on any workers compensation you would be entitled to. In light of this, always create an incident report, even if you are not injured, when an accident occurs. Since injuries are not always noticeable right away, it is important that you have documentation just in case.
Worst case scenario, your accident report could lead to a change in company policy, which could save someone else from becoming injured on the job. Take the time and effort to document as much possible while your memory is still fresh.
Consult a Doctor After a Workplace Accident
After a workplace accident, your employer should provide you with a list of doctors to see. If not, ask for one. Ideally, you will want to go to one of these doctors as soon as possible; the sooner, the better. If you have a serious or life-threatening injury, seek emergency medical help immediately.
In some cases, an employer will require you to see a specific doctor. In other situations, you may be able to use any that you like. Find out which scenario is the case. If your employer demands you see their physician, do so. If you are not satisfied with the doctor’s assessment, consider getting a second opinion. While you may need to pay a little more money up-front, it could be worth it in the long run.
Contact a Workplace Accident or Job Site Injury Lawyer
Finally, always be certain to contact a workplace accident lawyer. The right job site injury attorney will help ensure you receive the care and compensation you deserve. If you are looking for a Providence construction accident attorney or a Rhode Island workplace accident attorney contact The Law Office of David Morowitz, Ltd. and let us help get you back on the road to recovery.