Protect Yourself if You're Hurt at Work

Do you know the first step you should take if you're hurt at work? After receiving any necessary medical attention, of course, you should document, document, document.

Getting hurt at work can happen to anyone in any type of job. Regardless of where you work, there are procedures in place to deal with these situations. There may be rules posted in a common area or a book in the file cabinet at the main office. In either situation, you have the right to know the correct procedures for documenting a workplace injury.

Most employers require that you fill out a paper, generally referred to as an "incident report" This details what happened and what actions were taken, where it happened, your perception of any injuries at the moment, any witnesses, date and time. You and your supervisor will sign this document, along with any witnesses. Remember, any time you sign anything - get a copy immediately.

Most employers have a time limit on how long (usually 24 hours) you have to file an incident report. So if you get hurt at work on Friday and you don't document the incident, your condition doesn't improve or even worsens over the weekend, then it may be too late to document your injury on Monday! In every circumstance, it's best to be prepared by submitting an incident report "just in case," regardless of who seems to be at fault for the accident.

For more serious injuries sustained on the job, seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Again, it is not in your best interest to delay going to the doctor for health and legal reasons.

If you've been hurt at work, our attorneys can answer any questions you may have about injuries, time-off, worker's compensation and other issues related to workplace injuries.

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