One of the questions our clients frequently ask is “What steps should I take if one of my employees is hurt while working?” This question is common because our safety managers do a great job of working with our clients to prevent injuries in the workplace. As a result, injuries do not happen very often, and it is hard to remember how to do something that you just don’t regularly do. One of the most important things to do is to report the injury to your workers’ compensation carrier. For our clients, you can report directly to the friendly people in our workers’ compensation department – (800) 775-2404. That is the best thing you can do for yourself. They will help guide you through every step of the way and will make your life easier.
If your injured employee is in an emergency situation, send that employee to a clinic or urgent care facility right away. You do not have to report the injury first. You want to make sure the injured employee is taken care of properly.
See also: Work Comp and Safety Spotlight
Whether you contact your workers’ comp carrier (ERM’s workers’ comp department, for clients) first or send an employee to an urgent care first, here are the steps to take when an employee is injured at work.
All Injuries Must Be Reported
Sometimes an employee only needs first aid and doesn’t want to go to a clinic. There is no problem with that scenario, but the injury should still be reported to your workers’ comp carrier/ERM’s W/C dept. For our clients, the employee should also complete a Declination of Medical Treatment form. If you are not a client, it would be best to have the employee sign a similar statement. This statement protects the employer by showing that medical treatment was offered to the employee, but it does not mean the employee cannot seek medical treatment at a later date. The employee still has that option if his or her condition worsens.
Accidents and Injuries Must Be Reported Within 24 Hours
All injuries, no matter how minor, must be reported within 24 hours of the injury. Even in the case of a “first aid only” injury. It must be reported to our workers’ compensation department in case the injury becomes worse and needs medical attention in the future. That way, the reporting of the injury will not be considered late by the state. State penalties can be imposed if accidents are reported later than 24 hours after the injury has occurred.
Give Information to the Clinic to Treat an Injured Worker
The first time a particular injury is treated, you want to let the clinic know who this worker is, which company he or she works for and who the workers’ compensation insurance carrier is for your company. For clients, your employee should take our Workers’ Compensation Treatment form to the clinic upon the initial visit. This form gives the clinic all of the information it needs.
Providing Information About the Accident/Injury
For our clients, our workers’ compensation department will ask you to complete a Notice of Injury form. This form helps you communicate information that the workers’ comp carrier will need such as the date & time of the injury, employee name, location at which the injury occurred, what the employee was doing at the time of injury, which body part(s) were injured, which clinic the employee was sent to, etc.
Even though most do their best to prevent workplace injuries, it is always a good idea to know what to do if an accident happens. We recommend bookmarking this post so you will always know the steps to take when a workplace injury occurs.