No one goes to work with the intention of ending up injured. However, many people do end up hurt at some point in their career. Hundreds of people get hurt on the job every day across the United States. Depending on your line of work, there may be a wide range of risk factors for a serious work injury.
People working on farms, for example, risk injuries caused by machinery or tractors. Construction workers are at increased risk of fatal falls. Office workers can injure their backs by sitting or the muscles and tendons in their forearms by typing. Nurses and other hospital workers can strain their backs or get hurt by patients.
However someone ends up injured while working, the most important thing to do, other than seeking appropriate medical attention, is always to report the incident as soon as possible.
Tell your boss or manager right away about an injury
The longer you delay filing a report, the more difficult your situation may become. It is not uncommon to need to leave work to seek medical care after a serious injury. Prior to leaving, however, you should advise your manager or supervisor of what happened. If you don’t have time to file a report right away, you should take a moment to make notes about details.
You could easily forget important information between when you leave for medical care and when you file a formal report. Cellphones are great ways to make a note or even text yourself critical information. You should include the date, time and location of the incident. Describe what happened when you suffered the injury, as well as who, if anyone, witnessed the incident. Committing those details to writing can help ensure you provide accurate information when you do file a report.
Follow up with your employer after medical evaluation
Once you have a prognosis for your injury, including if you can return to work, what restrictions are in place for your work and how long healing will likely take, you should share this information with your employer. In some situations, your injury may allow you to work in a different or modified role while you heal, possibly part-time. For other people, work may be simply impossible until after recuperation.
Your employer should make reasonable accommodations for your injury while you recover. You should also receive workers’ compensation benefits for your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages if you are partially or completely disabled temporarily. Filing an accurate and timely report with your employer about the incident that caused your injuries is one of the best ways to protect your right to workers’ compensation coverage.