Hurting yourself at work is a massive ordeal. It can not only cause you severe physical pain, but it can also impact your mental health and finances. While you may consider your workplace to be incredibly safe, accidents can happen anywhere.
It is within your best interest to know what to do if you are ever injured at work. By not knowing what to do, you can lose out on compensation and confidence in yourself but also your job.
The following guide is going to detail what to do after an accident at work so that you are prepared for any eventuality.
File a report of the accident
Becoming injured at work means you need to report the accident. This is usually logged in a book that’s dedicated to such incidents. You should also record what happened, why it happened, and who witnessed the accident – this is so that you have proof of what transpired, which is essential if it was at no fault of your own.
Alert your co-workers as soon as the accident has taken place. While you will want to focus on your injury and not causing any more pain or damage, it is essential that you have proof for if you want to make a compensation claim. There are many employers who will not want to claim fault – as awful as this sounds.
Focus on your injury
As mentioned above, you should focus on the injury you have sustained. This is vital. Firstly, you should be treated by a certificated first-aider who knows how to cope with your physical pain and mental anguish. You should then seek proper treatment. Remember, while an injury may seem minor, it could lead to a life-long condition.
You should go to A&E or, at the very least, get checked out at the hospital. If you have suffered a head injury, you should insist on seeing a medical specialist as head injuries can become more substantial as time goes on – some of which become fatal.
Take photos for evidence
This step is vital if you wish to make a claim. You should take photographic evidence of the injury, what caused the accident and the accident location. For instance, if you were to be in a truck-car accident, you will want to take photos of the collision and accident scene. Then, you can provide this evidence to your attorney who is a specialist in this field – you can read more info on this type of accident.
Remember: You can never have too much evidence, so do not miss anything out. This means taking more than one photo of the accident and injury. You should also ask anyone who may have seen it and take down their details.
Make a note of your symptoms
Certain symptoms may develop over time, so it is vital to keep a logbook of how you are feeling and what is happening to you physically and mentally. Doctors and nurses do not always make a note of all the symptoms you are having, so by having your own log, you are covering yourself. You should, however, ask your doctor to keep a note for you.
Record your finances
A bad accident can leave you unable to keep up with finances, meaning you could lose money in the long-term. This is, of course, a deliberating issue that can cause havoc to your quality of life.
The purpose of compensation is it can help bridge the gap between a loss in pay. By keeping track of any financial losses, you can claim it back but also ensure you have an accurate compensation settlement.
You can keep a record on paper, on the computer, on your smartphone; you should also take photos of any receipts. Send all this information to your solicitor.
Returning to work
An accident can leave you feeling uneasy to return to work. There are many ways you can prepare yourself.
Firstly, do not consider returning to work until you are completely ready. Once you return, there may be little allowance to go off sick if any injuries were to reappear.
Usually, employers will schedule a meeting with you so that you can discuss how you are and whether you need any additional support. This is typically not done formally, but you can always ask for HR to be present if it calms your nerves.
Adjustments to your working environment and life can be predetermined before you return to work. This means you can head back into work with knowledge in the fact that all your requirements have been met. If they have not, do not be afraid to make your request a reality.
Aspects you may wish to consider before you return to work are:
- Working hours (you may need to work fewer hours and build them up over time)
- Getting to and from the office (do you need help going upstairs?)
- Certain equipment to make you much more comfortable (ergonomic chairs, adjustable desks, for instance)
- Halving your workload for a couple of weeks
- Do you have any rehabilitation programs to attend?
It is imperative that you have an open dialogue with your manager, employer and/or supervisor. Transparency ensures that everyone’s needs are met. If you do not voice your concerns or requirements, then you may not be able to request them later on, causing your discomfort in the future.
Remember that there is no time limit to recovery. Accidents can impact us in the long-run, reducing our stamina, strength and psychological health. You may need to head to rehab or see a therapist. You may also need to take a couple of months off work.
It takes some time for you to recover and perform your roles how you used to, so do not feel pressured to pick it all up as soon as you return. At the end of the day, you should not rush to get back to work or feel pressured to return to your job if it is going to cause you pain.