eHelpfulTips™ How To Advice & Thrifty Tips
What You Should You Do If You Have An Accident At Work?
By Curt Smyth
This is a general guide about what to do if you are in a workplace accident. You should read and follow your companies first aid and accident prevention / response plan.
The first thing you should do if you are hurt at work is remain calm and summon help. If you are able to walk contact your supervisor immediately and then get into a sitting position against a wall if there is any chance you may become unconscious. If you are bleeding and nobody is around apply a cloth and pressure to the bleeding area until a first responder can take over.
If are immobilized and you are in a precarious position, such as hanging on a ladder you should remain motionless and call out for help.
If you have been shocked and are no longer being electrocuted and still able to move you should move your limbs slowly away from the live wire or circuit and call out for help. Try and warn your rescuer where the live circuit that shocked you is.
If you are conscious you will need to tell the first responder what happened and where it hurts. They can relay this information on to medical personnel.
If you have any medical conditions or allergies to medications try and make this clear to the first responders if you are able.
If you feel that you have injured yourself but are ordered to keep on working this is against the law.
Note the time that you were injured at work and the supervisors exact words in response to your workplace accident and get a co worker to witness him or her ordering you back to work. You may have cause for legal action if you are forced to go back to work after a workplace injury.
Your company may have a "no lost time for accidents" program with incentives in pay for everyone if there are no accidents and you may feel obliged or even be coerced by fellow employees or your employer not to report the accident.
This is not good. If you are hurt at work you should report any workplace accident that happens, no matter what, since if you deny it and have health problems related to the accident later on you may have no recourse.
If you are no longer employed by the company where you were hurt at work and then find out that you have lingering health problems you may have no recourse especially if you never reported the incident.
If you have been hurt at work or in any way injured and the company acknowledges your injury but tells you that you required to see their own company doctor this is not legal.
You may see any doctor that you want to in most states. You may wish to contact an attorney who may provide you with free legal advice about seeing the company doctor vs. your own doctor.
Many companies will attempt to make you go back to work or threaten your job if you refuse to return when they think you should.
Your guide to when to return to work should be your own physician and companies that try to get you to do otherwise are unethical.
If the injury was the cause of negligence on the part of your employer, such as failure to provide a safe working environment and safety gear for their employees you may have case for legal action.
The kind of negligence that may have led to your accident includes failure to have proper procedures in place, and have trained you to shut down dangerous electrical circuits (called lockout-tagout).
Failure to label dangerous chemicals and have a proper MSDS sheet on them, failure to place warning signs and barriers around dangerous machinery and areas, failure to provide good ventilation, failure to provide proper guard mechanisms on dangerous machinery, removing guard mechanisms or safety devices to speed up operations, failure to provide you with proper eye, ear and foot protection, etc.
Remember, if you are hurt at work, think of your own health and welfare first and the company second.
You are your family's breadwinner and if you have become injured at work due to someone else's negligence then they, not you need to be the one that pays for your medical bills and lost work time.
You should never look at a workplace accident as a chance to "win the lottery" or get rich but you should look out for yourself and the needs of your family if the accident you sustained could affect your wage earning ability and therefore you should seek legal counsel.
Don't play the hero and not report a workplace accident just to keep your company's lost time record looking good and get a small bonus check. If you are hurt at work report it immediately to your supervisor and seek medical help.
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