What is considered a workplace injury?
Let’s establish what can be considered a workplace injury. OSHA defines a workplace injury or illness as one that occurs because of an event or exposure to something in the work environment. Already existing injuries that are then worsened in the work environment are also considered as workplace injuries. Injuries in a workplace often occur because of a lack in proper training, unsafe environments, or overexertion of skills.
For example, falling is a common workplace injury, especially within the construction industry. Whether it be tripping over equipment or falling from an elevated surface, these injuries can cause serious and sometimes fatal problems that take a big toll on your working abilities moving forward.
Be careful to note when an injury or illness is not work related. Some examples of this include:
- Common cold or flu
- Mental illnesses
- Being present in the work environment as a member of the general public and not as an employee
- Incidents while intoxication
- Incidents caused by self-infliction
What to do next?
Once you’ve established that you did in fact suffer from a workplace injury, it is important to immediately seek medical attention. Even if the injury was minimal, it is highly recommended to still have your injuries checked out to ensure your health and well-being are accounted for. Be sure to also inform medical personnel of what happened and that this incident occurred in the work environment. Having proper documentation from the hospital will aid in any future claims to prove your injuries to the state and employer.
Next, you have the right to file an accident report with your employer as well as a workers compensation claim with the state. Filing an accident report informs your employer of the situation at hand and the injuries you have endured. It is important to inform your employer even if the injury doesn’t seem serious at the time because you could have symptoms in the future.
A workers compensation claim gives you access to various compensation benefits to get reimbursed for your injuries. Some examples of this include medical bills, disability benefits, lost wages, etc. Learn more about workers compensation from our previous blog.
It’s important to have support during these stressful situations, which is why you should contact a Kooi Law attorney to gain the benefits you deserve. Having an attorney by your side ensures that all of your paperwork has been filed efficiently and can help speed up the process to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.