The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 5,000 fatal workplace injuries in 2019.
Workplace injuries can be disruptive regardless of severity, but knowing the steps you need to take can make your recovery process smoother and more manageable.
1. Stay informed about your rights
Familiarize yourself with your rights as an employee, including those related to workplace injuries. You should also review your employer’s policies and protocols regarding occupational hazards. Doing so can help you navigate the recovery process.
2. Seek medical attention
If you experience an occupational hazard that results in an injury, you need to seek medical attention. Notify your supervisor or manager about the incident and ask them for guidance and help to get the medical care you need.
3. Gather evidence and report the incident
Take photographs or videos of the area where your accident or injury took place and of any relevant equipment and collect witness statements. Provide a detailed account of the incident to your supervisor, including specific information about the location, date and circumstances of the injury.
4. Follow the medical advice you receive
You should attend all follow-up appointments, complete prescribed exercises and take any medications as directed. Keep your medical documents and bills in a safe, secure place.
5. Notify your insurance provider
Notify your health insurance provider and your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance about the workplace injury. They can guide you through filing a claim, provide you with advice and let you know if they will cover certain medical expenses. Remember to keep any insurance records that relate to your accident, injury and recovery process.
6. Communicate with your employer
Update your supervisor and your employer’s HR department throughout the recovery process. Discuss your progress and any accommodations you may need when you return to work. You may want to discuss starting with light-duty work options so you can work your way back up to your previous responsibilities.
Your well-being is important. Give yourself the time you need to recover before you return to work.