WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU HAVE AN ACCIDENT AT WORK?
posted on 1 February 2012 | posted in
Accidents at work and in the workplace happen much more often than you think! Thankfully the rate of accidents in the workplace is going down. In 2008, there were 3.9 non-fatal accidents per 1,000 full time workers. In 2009, that number was only 3.6. That might not sound like a big difference but it adds up to about 400,000 people.
If you have an accident at work, also called an occupational accident, you will probably qualify for worker's compensation. In order to qualify for worker's compensation you must be able to show the injury was not caused by willful misconduct on your part and that you did not have the injury before you started work at your current employer. Some things that are commonly covered are burns to the face and hands, work related mental health problems, and repetitive stress injuries. Over 39% of workplace injuries are strains or sprains. Only about 5% of workplace accidents include multiple traumatic injuries, amputations, or chemical burns. There are a few types of workers that are excluded from receiving workers compensation including contractors, volunteers, and farm workers.
Some occupations are more injury prone than others. Examples of higher risk jobs are laborers, nursing aides, Truck drivers, police officers, construction workers, repairmen, and correctional officers. Injuries are more common in males than females. Older workers are more likely to miss more days of work than younger employees.
If you do happen to have an accident at work, there are some steps you will need to take.
First, you will need to notify your employer about what happened, within the time period allotted by law.
Second, you will receive appropriate treatment and diagnosis from your plan's approved doctor.
Third, your employer will conduct an investigation of what caused the injury or illness.
Fourth, a claim will be filled with the appropriate department.
Lastly, the agency will make a decision based on the evidence they have received.
You may need to find an attorney depending on the circumstances.
Thankfully, accidents at work do not happen very often and when they do they are not serious. You should still always be careful in the workplace and follow all safety precautions!
Further Reading: docstoc.com | merriam-webster.com | people.com