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What Should I Do After a Workplace Accident?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 04 April 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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What should be done after a workplace accident tends to depend on whether a person has had the accident or is taking a report of the accident from another worker. In both instances, maintaining communications with all parties is vital. Those who’ve had an accident or are filing a report on one often have specific work procedures to follow. The issue gets more complicated if an accident occurs, and either of the parties involved don’t agree on what happened. Sometimes this results in lawsuits, but the initial procedures are usually similar.

The basics can be summed up fairly easily. An employee who has just had a workplace accident needs to make management aware of this fact. In some cases, the employee might not be able to walk off the accident site and could be injured badly enough that he or she will need the help and attention of other workers. If the accident is only minor, and it’s safe for the employee to move, he could simply find his supervisor or manager and explain what occurred.

Employees should give a fair account of what occurred. In general, they should not admit that they somehow caused the accident or were at fault. An employer won’t admit this either. The reason for this is that such statements can later be used against a person in any legal proceedings.

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If the injury warrants it, company representatives may want the employee to see a doctor, and this is usually free of charge. Some employees have the option of seeing their own physicians who are reimbursed by employers. It should be noted that health insurance fairly frequently deny claims when they believe that another payer, like an employer, is responsible for the payment. Unless the situation is truly urgent, the employee should ask the company how it reimburses for medical care.

In most cases, claims for medical care are quickly paid and if a lasting injury is established, companies typically pay for any ongoing care needs. Any settlement in a workplace accident may include pay for time off to recover. Unless employers try to avoid payment or fight a claim they think is fraudulent, no legal measures are required.

Managers taking reports on a workplace accident follow guidelines set forth by the company. The first thing is to attend to anyone injured and then make sure there isn’t an ongoing hazard posing risk to others. Some companies document the area where the workplace accident occurred with pictures. Bosses will talk to the injured party and might also talk to anybody who witnessed the accident. The company’s insurance representative is typically contacted as well. One person might perform all this, several managers could do it, or most of it could be handled by human resources employees.

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