Protocols for Reporting Workplace Injurieson October 4th, 2012
Different businesses may have different protocols or procedures for on-the-job accident reporting, but in general, most companies follow these simple procedures:
Report an incident immediately when it occurs
Fill out the proper forms, if possible
See a doctor (if required)
In the event of an on-the-job accident, the injured party should obtain first aid as needed and notify the immediate supervisor of the incident as soon as practical; the immediate supervisor should then notify Human Resources of the incident as soon as possible.
Fill out forms
Notice of an accident must be sent to Human Resources Department, or the person responsible for employees at the firm. The forms should be returned to Human Resources within 24 hours of the accident. The immediate supervisor should ensure that all materials, both from the injured employee and the immediate supervisor, are properly completed and returned in a timely manner in order to get the claims swiftly processed.
If an employee loses time from work (other than for immediate medical attention) as a result of an on-the-job accident, a written doctor’s release is required before this person is allowed to return to work.
The release should specifically indicate any work limitations imposed on the individual as a result of the injury, such as restrictions against lifting in a back injury case. If the employee’s return is on a restricted basis, a written schedule of duties and hours, if appreciably altered, should be prepared by the immediate supervisor and signed by both the employee and the immediate supervisor.
Upon receiving the written release along with the statement of restricted duties, forward the documents to Human Resources or the persons in charge of handling worker’s comp claims. If, upon returning to work, the injured employee requires further medical attention as a result of the original on-the-job accident, the employee should obtain authorization for this additional treatment from the proper department handling their claim.
Workers’ Compensation provides coverage for both medical expenses and wages for any employee who sustains an injury in the performance of duty. Under the law, payment of monetary compensation (lost time wages) is warranted to the injured employee as long as medical evidence indicates that the employee is totally or partially disabled and has sustained a wage loss due to the injury.
Workers’ Compensation procedures should stipulate that all injuries, even those of a seemingly minor nature like a scratched finger or a bumped knee, be officially reported. Sometimes the so-called minor injury develops into a serious, complicated condition. Any work-related injury that requires a physician’s attention and/or caused absence from work must be officially reported. This includes any type of injury, no matter how seemingly insignificant, should be officially reported in detail; any automobile accident, that is work-related, no matter how seemingly insignificant, should be officially reported.