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Injuries at Work and What to do

Since 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH) has strived to make the nation’s places of work safe. According to statistics from the Department of Labor, the number of people who have died in the work has fallen by 50%, and work-related injuries and illnesses are down by 40% since its introduction.

Dark image with a man who has his head in his hands.

If you have an accident at work, it is important that you follow the steps below. You may feel that you are lucky to have escaped with minor injuries, and just want to get on with life, but even seemingly slight issues can be a precursor for more long-term symptoms. The actions that you take after your accident could have a long-lasting impact on the compensation that a firm such as can get for you.

1. Get medical treatment

You need to get your injury treated by a qualified medical practitioner. By law, the business that you work for should have a first-aider on site; however, they can only provide elementary care. You need to head to the emergency room to get checked out.

2. Get the accident logged

While formalities may be the last thing on your mind after an injury has been sustained, it is important that the accident is logged in the business’s accident book. It’s an important document that can help to influence the safety of your colleagues, but also to document exactly what happened. You should also make personal notes to record the events that led up to the incident, who was there to witness it, and exactly what happened. Memories fade over time, so do it as soon as you are fit.

3. Review your employee manual

If your place of work has an employee manual, you need to check what the policies are with respect to workplace accidents. There should be a section that outlines what your obligations are. You need to comply with the procedures word for word. By doing everything by the book, you will be able to satisfy the business’s requirements; after all, you do not want any disputes with the employer when or if you return to work.

4. Journal your symptoms

When you seek medical treatment from the doctor, they will be focused on treating the primary injuries; however, it takes time for some injuries to become apparent, and so it is important that you journal symptoms as and when they occur. Your journal is a valuable tool, not only to help medics in any future treatment but in the event that you seek compensation from your employer for your accident.

Whether you are in a desk bound office job or working on a farm, your employer has a duty of care for you. This means that they are responsible for your safety and security and must make steps to make the work environment safe for you – protective personal equipment, ergonomically designed office furniture and undertake risk assessments. However, this does not mean that injuries and accidents still don’t happen, so by following the steps above, you will be able to get the best outcome for all.