Most people would say “yes” to any simple step they could take to ensure they receive fast and adequate medical treatment. They would likely find it easier to agree with the suggested action if it also proved able to facilitate a smooth recovery process. Well, the key to a person receiving all of these benefits following workplace injury could be as simple as reporting the injury as soon as it occurs.
Proper Medical Attention
The most important reason to report injuries in the workplace is to ensure an injured worker receives the medical attention they need. Workers possess many reasons for not reporting accidents in the workplace. Some of the most commonly used reasons include:
- The fear of losing their job
- Not wanting to miss time at work
- Unaware of the extent of an injury resulting from an accident
- Unaware that compensation is available for injuries and lost wages resulting from an accident
Some accidents in the workplace are also seen by many workers as “no big deal.” This point is especially true in environments that include a stereotype of “cool” or “tough” participants. For example, slip and fall victims often downplay their injuries when coworkers or others watch them take an embarrassing fall. This tendency is problematic because some injuries do not show their full extent until days, weeks, or even more after an accident. This fact makes it an absolute necessity for workers to receive prompt medical attention anytime they receive an injury.
Provide Employers with Time
Employers will enjoy the luxury of having more time to file worker’s compensation claims when workers report accidents and injuries as soon as they happen. Prompt injury reports help to keep the costs associated with accidents low for employers. They also help to guarantee workers receive the benefits they need. It is also important to note that the added complications accompanying the late reporting of workplace injuries can cause the relationship between employers and employees to become strained.
It is not mandatory to report all workplace accidents to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. OSHA mandates reporting when accidents result in injuries that require a level of medical attention past first aid. OSHA also wants to hear about incidents that cause workers to miss multiple days from work. The disinterest OSHA has for some accidents and injuries does not mean they are not worth reporting to internal management.
The details of all accident-related injuries will help company management identify and eliminate workplace hazards that could injure another employee in the future. This data will also prove useful at identifying any worker behavior that adds to the possibility of workplace injuries.
The failure to report an injury promptly may represent a violation of workers’ compensation policies. This fact could become a problem for workers who suffer an injury that grows progressively worse with time. A delayed injury report may also make the job of an insurance adjuster more difficult. When adjusters are unable to document the facts of an accident, receiving the compensation needed for recovery can become a problem for workers.
There is no way to ignore the impact workplace injuries can have on a company’s bottom line. It is also well-known that these injuries can increase the costs of operations and decrease production. But more severe expenses in the form of fines may apply when injury reports are late or non-existent.