The workplace is supposed to be the safest place after your home; however, accidents happen, and work-related injuries are common. Statistics say that about two percent of workers get injured every year while doing their jobs, and about 3% of them are involved in fatal accidents.
Some places and some jobs are riskier than others, but even if you work in an office it does not mean that you cannot get injured. In case something bad happens, you need to be aware of the steps you should take immediately after the incident and know your rights as an employee.
The most common work injuries usually consist of a person slipping or tripping on something and falling down, cuts, and being hit by a falling object. Most of the companies nowadays have rules in place to make sure all the workers are safe. Safety equipment is extremely important and, in some places, you can even report if you notice something that could be a safety risk.
We all hope that our workplaces are safe environments and that nothing bad will happen to us while we are doing our jobs, but accidents happen. If you happen to have a workplace injury, or if you are involved in an accident while you are on the clock, there are some steps that you should immediately take. Here is our list of things you should do if you get involved in a work-related accident.
1. Act fast and make sure you are safe
If you get involved in an accident at work, the first thing you need to do is to act fast.
If you are not seriously injured and if you can move, you need to get to a safe location right away. However, if you cannot move or if you think that something might be broken, you have to stay in place (unless it is a life-threatening situation) and call for help.
2. First aid kit
If you have any cuts or bruises and in case you fell and sprained something, you need to take the first aid kit as soon as possible. Apply pressure on the wound, stop the bleeding, and sit still.
If you notice that you are feeling dizzy or nauseated, you need to go to the doctor right away. Examine the injury and try to access how serious it is. In case you are unsure, if it hurts too much, or if you are bleeding, you need to go to the ER as soon as possible.
3. Seek treatment if it is needed
After you’ve gone to safety and when you examine the wound, you need to check if you should seek immediate treatment. Many people try to ignore injuries and say that it is nothing. You could have internal bleeding or your adrenaline may be responsible for you not feeling pain right away.
It is better to seek treatment and just get checked than to risk something bad happening to you. If something hit you on the head or if you are in pain, you should go to the doctor right away.
4. Visit the doctor to get the needed documents
In case you decided that you have a minor injury and that you don’t have to go to the ER, you still need to contact your health care provider. You should get checked, report that it is a work-related injury, and get all the needed documents for filing a report.
5. File a report
Get all the documents you need, including your doctor’s files, and file the report. In some cases, you’d need to take the employee’s forms to your doctor so they can write the information down. Check what the procedure is before you go to the doctor, so you know how to act.
When you have all of the forms, you need to file a report to your supervisor. You need these documents so that you can file for compensation later.
6. Get a lawyer
After filing the report, you need to talk to your lawyer as soon as possible. Contact them the same day the accident happens so they can advise you what your next step should be. Cordiscosaile.com suggests that you can participate in lawsuits against the company or the manufacturers.
Don’t wait for too long to contact your attorney, because the faster you act, the bigger the chances are that you can file for compensation and get it approved.
7. Keep track of all the injury-related expenses and missed days of work
If you go to the doctor, if you need any medications that you should pay for yourself and if you take personal days because of the accident, you need to document it all.
Keep a journal, receipts, and write down anything that you have to do because of the injury. This includes traveling. Depending on the pace you live at and the company you work for, you can get different types of compensations.
8. File for compensation
When you have all the needed documents, and after you’ve talked to your attorney, you should file for compensation. You can do that in case there is no legal action that is being pursued, so if you are not suing anyone, you can file for worker’s compensation.
You should be covered for any doctor’s visits; treatments and you should get paid even if you don’t go to work for a specific period of time.
9. Check-in with your doctor again
After you are done with everything and after a few days or a few weeks have passed, you need to go get checked just in case. Sometimes there can be no visible signs that the accident led to serious complications, and if you just brush it off, things can get worse in the future.
Even if you just sprained an ankle and if you are feeling better now, it does not mean that you shouldn’t get physical therapy to prevent further complications. Your health should come first, so take a day off and go get checked.
Remember these steps in case something bad happens to you while you are at work. The most important thing is for you to be safe and if you are not sure about anything else you should be doing, just contact your lawyer and they will tell you what your next step should be.
Make sure that you are being cooperative with your supervisor and your coworkers. If you plan on staying in the same company, then you should report any risk hazards, provide warnings, and talk to the management about what should be done to prevent any further accidents.