Being injured on the job can be a stressful and confusing experience. Following the four tips below will help an injured employee better deal with their situation and successfully navigate the complex workers’ compensation process.
Immediately Notify the Company
After any type of workplace accident, even if there is no apparent injury, be sure to notify your supervisor. While most states allow verbal notices, a few states require written notifications. The best course of action is to verbally notify the supervisor, seek medical attention if required and then report the injury to management personnel in writing. This is important because a few states have short filing deadlines, so procrastination may result in the injured worker loosing legal rights to receive workers’ compensation benefits from their employer.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if the injury is minor, always seek medical attention. This will eliminate the possibility of the employer challenging the claim later down the road. Physicians are understandably busy, so most will avoid filling out light duty paperwork. However, injured employees can be immediately released to work under strict duty restrictions. This allows the employee to retain their dignity while also reducing insurance compensation insurance increases for the company. Keep in mind that OSHA encourages injured employees to quickly return to work because of the psychological benefits.
Seek Professional Advice
Sometimes, employers fight workers’ compensation claims in order to save money. They hope to reduce increased insurance costs that are associated with injuries. Employers may have their own attorneys represent them. Therefore, it may be a good idea to retain a lawyer who is an expert in the particulars of workers’ compensation laws. However, most workplace injuries will not require lawyers, but just someone who understands the workers’ compensation process. Most human resource professionals will be familiar with the laws, but anyone who has earned an employment law master’s degree from NSU, for example, will also know. Learning about these things can help safeguard you in the workplace.
Differentiate Between Sudden and Repetitive Injuries
Not all injuries are unexpected accidents that involve sudden trauma. According to OSHA, there are more than a hundred types of repetitive stress injuries. These usually result from years of wear and tear because of poor ergonomics. That is, repetitive work tasks that require employees to repeatedly use identical motions that may cause harm if the physical demands of the job do not match the normal physical capacity of the body. These types of injuries often occur in manufacturing and warehouse companies.
Note that employees who are severely injured may qualify for short-term disability, which includes wage loss payments.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym.