The better employers have one or more programs that have been designed to help reduce or eliminate work related injuries in the workplace. Safe work practices and finding new ways to avoid repeating accidents is an issue that is important to employees and employers too. Should an accident happen, it does no one any good when it is not reported.
Don't Put Off Reporting an Accident
If you are unlucky enough to suffer an injury in the workplace, it is important to report it as soon as possible. This would seem to be common sense, but many employees find reasons not to do so.
One situation that can arise is where an employee believes that they haven't actually sustained an injury, perhaps in a fall down a flight of stairs, and therefore decides not to report it. They may subsequently discover that they have injured themselves after all but because they failed to report the accident in a timely manner, if at all, they may not be able to seek medical treatment paid for by the employer or be paid benefits for the time spent receiving medical treatment or recuperating.
Financial Aid Can Be Withheld
Failing to report an accident in a timely manner can cause workers' compensation insurance companies to raise valid questions about the validity of any claim made since the accident. This could lead to your own health insurance deciding not to compensate for work related injuries and should the employer also decide not to cover medical costs, you will be liable for the cost of any medical care received.
Different States Have Different Rules
It depends on the state for rules on workers' compensation requirements. Temporary disability benefits, personal injury awards, and other issues can be complicated when there is a reporting issue.
A personal injury lawyer would be able to advise about the compensation rules in your local state. Visit Adame Garza's website to learn more about the appropriate legal state requirements in the Texas state.
Reporting Within a Time Limit Set By the Employer
Companies may have an internal requirement for all employees to report an accident within a certain period of time like 24 hours. Failing to report in the set time can lead to the suggestion that the injury occurred outside of the workplace or on a non-work day which would remove the company’s requirement to pay worker compensation.
There is also the issue of the possibility of a reprimand in writing or a suspension from duty without remuneration for failing to report an accident or failing to do so within the time limits set by the employer.
Err on the Side of Caution
For workers in a warehouse who are involved with lifting heavy boxes all day and moving them around, it is easy to overly strain a back or injure an ankle when lifting something heavy up from ground level. This may only be felt as a twinge in the bone or ankle at the time and be easily dismissed. This would be a mistake because it is all too easy to wake up the next morning and discover that the ankle or back has been injured after all.
It is always best to err on the side of caution and report any issues whatsoever to upper management who can follow the proper accident reporting procedure of your behalf. This covers your employment position whether you subsequently discover that you were actually injured or not.