What Should I do After a Workplace Injury?

N. Madison
N. Madison

The laws concerning workplace injuries may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In most places, however, a workplace injury is one that happens in an employee’s place of employment and through no fault of his own. In general, you must report a workplace injury to management right away and seek medical attention if needed. If you do not report the injury right away, you may hurt your chances of obtaining compensation. If you are a manager rather than the injured party, however, you will typically have to follow the procedure your company has established for dealing with injuries; this may include contacting the company’s insurance representative in some cases.

Employers often compensate employees for workplace injuries.
Employers often compensate employees for workplace injuries.

If you’ve been injured on the job, your first step may be determining whether or not you need emergency medical attention. If that is the case, your priority should be getting the medical help you need. In such a case, you may enlist a coworker’s help with calling for emergency help and notifying management or the appropriate department that you’ve been injured. In most cases, companies have policies in place for handling workplace injuries, so your coworker may be able to handle this without your attention.

Minor injuries are common in the workplace.
Minor injuries are common in the workplace.

When an injury is minor, you may take steps to make yourself comfortable or get first aid and then notify the appropriate individual of your injury. For example, if you’ve cut yourself or been burned, you may use a first aid kit to take care of the injury and then notify the appropriate person. You’ll probably have to give a detailed account of what occurred and name any witness who were present. You may also have to state the time the injury occurred and the events that lead up to the workplace injury.

Seeking medical attention right after a workplace injury is imperative, regardless of the severity of the injury.
Seeking medical attention right after a workplace injury is imperative, regardless of the severity of the injury.

If your workplace injury did not require emergency medical attention, you may still need to see a doctor. In such a case, you’ll need to ask the person who handles workplace injury reports at your job which steps you should take; sometimes employers want their employees to see company doctors and will pay for their visits. In other cases, however, employees may see their own physicians and receive company reimbursement. It’s worth noting that health insurance may sometimes refuse to pay a bill for medical expenses that arise from workplace injury claims. Instead, they may expect the employer to foot the bill.

Workers' compensation exists to provide financial assistance and medical treatment to employees who are injured on the job.
Workers' compensation exists to provide financial assistance and medical treatment to employees who are injured on the job.

When a workplace injury is serious enough to cause the employee to need time off work or additional medical care, the employer will often compensate the employee. The amounts and types of compensation an employer is obligated to provide may depend on the laws in the jurisdiction. In some cases, however, employers and employees may disagree on the events surrounding an injury and the compensation that is due. If this happens to you, you may do well to seek a lawyer’s help.

If the employer and employee disagree on the circumstances of a workplace injury, it's best to seek a lawyer's help.
If the employer and employee disagree on the circumstances of a workplace injury, it's best to seek a lawyer's help.
Heath insurance may refuse to pay a bill for medical expenses that arise from workplace injury claims.
Heath insurance may refuse to pay a bill for medical expenses that arise from workplace injury claims.
Some industries, including machining and manufacturing, have stringent safety standards.
Some industries, including machining and manufacturing, have stringent safety standards.
Immediate medical attention may be needed for an individual who has experienced a workplace injury.
Immediate medical attention may be needed for an individual who has experienced a workplace injury.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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