A woman slipped on a grape in a supermarket – one grape, and it put her out of work for 6 months!
You never know what’s around the corner and most of us only consider automobile accidents when we worry about being injured. And, that’s important, particularly if you haven’t read your insurance policy lately. But life isn’t fair and there are many ways in which gravity and physics in general will conspire to hurt us when we least expect it. Especially when we’re at work.
Accidents happen in the most benign environments – you don’t need to be in a high-risk job to be at risk. Even the most sedentary jobs involve danger from slips and falls or other hazards. So, what do you do if you’re hurt at work? Here are X guidelines to keep in mind:
- Fixate on your injury. Getting healthy is your first priority so, make sure you obtain treatment as soon as possible. If you have a first aider on staff, get word to them that you need help or have someone call an ambulance for any serious injury. However, even seemingly minor injuries will require more care – your focus should be on minimizing the impact the damage has on the rest of your life.
- Tell your co-workers. Even if you were alone at the time of the accident, let people know what happened to you. This is vital for any future claims or investigations. Never mind the fact you could prevent it happening to someone else if you inform them.
- Report it to your manager. Because of similar reasons to the above point, your manager should be formally told about what happened. This will trigger the accident reporting protocols and safeguards you by making it a notable incident that needs follow-up.
- Ensure it is recorded in the accident book. Every organization should have one and, if they don’t, make a written report or email to create a paper trail.
- Get photos or a video record of the situation. If you fell because of a cluttered hallway, a spill or a tangle of extension cords, get the evidence. This will assist you with any future claims.
- Keep in touch with a trusted co-worker while you’re off work. If your employer makes changes so that the circumstances of the accident are cleared up, you need to know.
- Visit your GP and/or local hospital. At first, you may not realize the full effect that the injury has on you. There can also be a psychological impact as well as physical, so get the help you need before it becomes urgent.
- Log your symptoms, treatment and expenses. This will back-up any claim you need to make and form a data-rich account of the impact of the accident.
If you make a claim, it pays to know what your injury and time off work is worth, that’s where a personal injury calculator comes in handy. This will give you a ballpark idea of how much you should receive if your claim has to go to court.