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Injured in the workplace? Follow these steps

In several recent posts, we’ve emphasized that no two workers’ compensation claims may be alike.

From an injury standpoint, every person is unique, which means that the treatments and rehabilitative services need for one worker may not be the same for another. 

From a liability standpoint, each workplace may have its own unique hazards that require an employer to take precautions against workplace accidents. At a minimum, an employer is typically required to provide adequate walking and working surfaces. Depending on the industry, additional protective clothing or equipment hazard assessments may be required.

Yet certain procedural requirements should be followed to the letter in nearly every type of on-the-job injury. This post explores that dichotomy in greater detail.

First, an injured worker should notify his or her supervisor and union representative as soon as possible, even for seemingly minor injuries (within reason). That notice should include the filing of an accident report, describing the circumstances of how the employee was injured while on duty.

Of course, a worker who is seriously injured may not be able to fulfill that duty. Alternatively, a worker who is uncomfortable with that process may wish to consult with a before filing the accident report. In both cases, however, time is of the essence: Oklahoma law requires actual notice to be provided to an employer within 30 days of the accident. Therefore, communicating with your attorney at the earliest convenience is advised. An employer is also bound by certain time requirements. Medical treatment must typically be provided to an injured employee within 7 days of his or her injury.However, that treatment may at the hands of the employer’s doctor. An attorney can explain the circumstances of when an injured worker may seek treatment from other medical providers. Generally, that freedom may require the filing of a Form 3 with the Workers’ Compensation Court.

Source: Insurance Journal, “Oklahoma Plating Company Fined $341.5K for Workplace Safety Violations”, Sept. 19, 2014


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