The laws regarding how a workplace injury must be handled vary from state to state. In the immediate aftermath of an injury, chances are the last thing you’ll feel like doing is looking up your state’s laws. To be safe, no matter where you live, report the injury to your supervisor in writing.
If your injury is serious enough that you are unable to work, you’ll also want to apply for workers’ compensation benefits. You will have a limited amount of time in which to apply, so you’ll want to take care of this as quickly as possible.
Workers Who Are More Likely to Be Injured
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following are the three most dangerous occupations in the United States. If you’re in one of these occupations, keep reading because it is especially critical that you understand what to do if you’ve been hurt.
Logging and selling timber can be deadly work. Approximately 97.6 of every 1,000 loggers will be killed on the job. Loggers may be killed by:
- Being struck by a falling object
- Truck accidents
- Being injured by equipment
A smaller number of loggers are harmed or killed by falls and slip and fall injuries. Loggers have also died in electrocution accidents.
Approximately 77.4 of every 1,000 fishers and fishing boat crew members will die while they are performing their job duties. Even when fishing accidents aren’t fatal, the aftermath can still be gruesome. One woman was seriously hurt on an Alaskan fishing boat when a machine turned on while she was standing in it,
Flight engineers and pilots die on the job at a rate of approximately 58.9 per 1,000. Most of these deaths are caused by transportation-related incidents.
Some other dangerous occupations include construction work, garbage collectors, roofers, and agricultural workers.
If You Need to See a Doctor
For the best chance of making a full recovery, seek medical treatment if you have any questions about the seriousness of your injury. Your health, safety, and future should be your first priority. Additionally, visiting a doctor will create a medical record that documents your injuries. You may need this later on.
Some companies have a company doctor who is responsible for the health of the workers. Whether or not you are obligated to seek treatment through the company-appointed physician or you can choose your own doctor will depend on your state’s laws. In some states, you must request to see your own doctor in writing before any workplace injury occurs.
If You Need to Get a Lawyer
Some injured workers choose to file a legal claim to recover their damages. Not only can this help you to pay for medical treatments and make up for the wages you lost, but it will also hold your employer accountable. This could force them to improve safety conditions and protect other workers.
You may also want to seek out a free law case consultation if workers’ compensation has denied your claim or is limiting your benefits. Individuals who are injured in the workplace have rights under the law. An attorney can explain your rights and tell you about the options that are available to you.
If You Work for the Federal Government
If you’re a federal employee, you may be able to get compensation through the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA). Some of the expenses this can help cover include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Payments to survivors in cases of fatal accidents or illnesses
Under FECA, you can choose your own doctor. With certain conditions, you may also be able to visit a chiropractor. Your company may request that their own medical exam be conducted to get a second opinion.
As of 2018, there were 155.76 million workers in the United States, and the federal government employs two million people. In the vast majority of injuries that happen on the job, the worker will not be covered by FECA.
In any industry, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the most common types of injuries so you can learn what to do to avoid them. Having the correct equipment, properly fitting personal protective equipment, and adequate training are your first steps to staying safe.