No one plans on getting injured at work. Unfortunately, injuries are a part of life and can be sustained anywhere, even while on the job. It does not matter which industry you work in. Injuries can happen in an office or out in the field, as there are many hazards to job site safety. If you have been hurt at work or simply want to prepare for the event you ever do become injured at work, consider these tips for what to do if you are injured on the job.
Step One: Notify Your Supervisor
If you are able, the first thing you want to do after sustaining an injury at work is to notify your supervisor. It is preferable that you let your supervisor know in writing, as some states require you to notify your employer in this way. When you are hurt, it is better to have your bases covered than to worry about consequences for notifying your employer incorrectly. It is also best to let your supervisor know of your injury right away.
Step Two: Seek Medical Care
After you notify your supervisor, seek prompt medical care if your injury requires it. There is no need to suffer through the rest of the workday without receiving medical treatment. When you see a doctor, inform them that your injury is work-related.
If you are a federal employee, you are typically covered by the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). This act allows you to be treated by any doctor.
If you are not a federal employee, you will need to heed the law of your state. Depending on the state you live in, you may be able to see your own doctor, or you may need to see a doctor that’s been hired and paid for by your employer. Certain conditions apply, so you will need to refer to your state’s laws for details.
It is worth noting that the report your doctor drafts will have a huge impact on any workers’ compensation benefits you may receive in the future. It is also worth noting that a physician provided by your employer is not your friend. These physicians often attempt to minimize your injury or correlate it to a pre-existing condition to protect your employer.
Step Three: Start a Diary
As soon as possible after sustaining your injury, start a diary or log of workdays you miss due to your injury, as well as all travel to and from doctor’s appointments and all expenses you pay out of pocket.
Step Four: File for Workers’ Compensation
After you have notified your employer, received treatment for your injury, and started a diary, the final step to do if you are injured on the job is to file for workers’ compensation. This can be a complicated and stressful process, and depending on your needs, budget, and capability, it may be a good decision to hire a workers’ compensation attorney to help you.