No matter how careful you are, there is still a chance of accidents occurring in the workplace. Whether it is a minor accident or a serious one, it’s important to take these accidents seriously. The worker’s safety must be the priority.
Being in a workplace accident can be a terrifying and traumatizing experience for the employee. Some accidents can result in serious injury. There are also instances where they become permanently disabled, depending on the severity of the accident. If you ever find yourself in a workplace accident, here are five steps you can do that can help you minimize the damages and the pain:
- Immediately seek medical attention
Whether you’ve sustained minor injuries or were seriously injured from the accident, you must immediately seek medical attention. Getting medical attention early can help in preventing your injuries from getting worse.
But administering first aid must depend on the victim’s injury. If the victim’s injuries require a medical professional to attend to it, it’s best to wait for medical personnel to arrive instead of letting untrained individuals treat the victim. Having an untrained individual treat, a patient with serious injuries can worsen it.
- Secure the scene
Securing the scene is important for a fair investigation to take place. This step is for the employer. When securing the scene, make sure to:
- Remove all employees from the scene
- Eliminate possible sources of danger
- Minimize scene disturbances and avoid removing vital evidence that can affect the investigation later
- Keep track of everything by documenting it.
Documenting everything is an important step for the injured worker as this may help them with their claim if they want to seek compensation for the damages they have suffered. After receiving medical treatment and while recovering from your injuries, make sure to have documentation of the following:
- A description of what happened during the accident
- Medical records and bills
- A written statement you’ve sent to your employer about the accident
- Statements of witnesses
- Your own description of your symptoms and how they have caused your disability
- Conduct an investigation
After an accident occurs, conducting an investigation is important as this can help determine the liability and whether there was fourplay involved in the accident. Several entities such as the Ministry of Labour, the police, and the JHSC may be conducting their own investigation of the accident. It is the employer’s duty to comply and provide all the necessary documents and evidence needed for the investigation.
During the investigation, it’s vital to:
- Secure the scene
- Gather evidence
- Interview witnesses
- Investigate the root cause(s)
The designated investigator will ensure to document and itemize everything to ensure a fair investigation. It’s also essential to immediately conduct interviews and gather statements to paint a clear picture of what happened. Interviews are also important for fact-checking, not fault-finding.
- Seek the assistance of an experienced workplace accident attorney
After a workplace accident, the injured employee is entitled to a workers compensation claim. In California, you must provide your employer with notice of your workplace accident and injury, in writing, within 30 days of its occurrence.
If you fail to provide notice within 30 days, you could lose your right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. While your employer should then initiate the workers’ compensation claim process on your behalf, if they fail to do so, you will have one year from the date of your injury to file your workers’ compensation claim.
There is also a risk where your employer may deny you your worker’s compensation benefits. If you are denied the benefits to which you are entitled under the law, you need to call a workplace accident attorney in California immediately. There is only so much time to file an appeal – do not breach the time limit and forfeit your right to compensation.