June 21 2020 - No one should ever go to work each day worried about getting injured. There are hazards in every workplace, and that's why health and safety training is crucial for all staff. That said, even if you take all the necessary safety precautions, accidents can still happen. Sometimes workplace injuries are obvious, such as a sprained wrist, broken ankle, burn or cut. Other injuries may develop over time, such as those from repetitive strain or those that affect mental health.
Regardless of what type of incident occurs, it's essential to know what to do if you are injured while on the job.
Invest in disability insurance
You may be relying on workers' compensation to cover you if an accident occurs. The problem is that claims have the potential to get denied, and they often won't cover your full wage even if they are approved. File for disability insurance in your area to ensure you are fully protected in the case of any workplace injuries. Social Security Disability Insurance will provide an extra layer of protection, and in many cases, you could receive it plus your workers' compensation if you get hurt at work.
Report the injury immediately
Never wait to report an injury to your supervisor or manager. Even if you sustain a minor injury, like a small cut, your supervisor must be aware straight away so they can fill out an accident report. The report will act as proof that the injury occurred on site. The longer you wait, the tougher it is to prove that the incident happened in the workplace, and you could lose your claim to workers' compensation.
Seek medical attention
Once you've reported the incident and file a report, you need to seek medical attention. Depending on the severity of the injury, this could be the hospital, clinic, or your family doctor. You must inform the doctor that you sustained your injury on the job. They will note this down in your file, and it will help your case when you make a claim. Explain the situation in detail, including all symptoms related to your illness or injury. Before leaving, make sure to confirm with the doctor that they will be sending the full report to the workers' compensation board.
Keep thorough records yourself
Don't rely on the incident report, and the doctors report to cover you in the case of an injury at work. Write out your own account of the incident, including as many details as possible, and keep it somewhere safe. Try to write these down immediately following the incident so you don't forget any crucial information that could risk your claim. Some important things to jot down include dates and times, names of any witnesses, the name of the supervisor on duty, where it happened, when you visited the doctor, and any meetings you had with your boss.
Try to obtain a copy of all reports as well, including the accident report, medical documents, and take photographs of the injury and where it occurred.
It never hurts to be over-prepared in these scenarios in case your employer tries to claim that the injury didn't happen at work. That's also why having some additional disability insurance is helpful as it gives you peace of mind and gets a lawyer on your side to argue your case.
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