There have been great strides in reducing the number of workplace injuries in the United States. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that workplace-related injuries and illnesses have decreased significantly. In 1972, there were 10.9 incidents for every 100 workers. In 2015, that number was 3.0 for every 100 employees.
Injuries at work can range in severity. Some are extreme while others are not as bad. Some may not appear bad at first but can quickly escalate without medical treatment. It is for this reason employees need to see a doctor after any injury at work, even if it does not seem like a big deal.
Avoid employer waivers
After an injury, an employee may feel fine enough to stay at work. Since the employee did not see a doctor, a supervisor at the company may try to get the employee to sign a waiver releasing the organization of any liability. It is never a good idea to sign this without an attorney reviewing it first. Employees definitely need to avoid signing waivers when they do not even know the extent of an injury.
See a trusted doctor
Depending on the company, employees may be able to see their own doctors, or they may need to see the organization’s doctor. Most company doctors are perfectly fine. However, if that doctor says everything is fine but the employee still feels symptoms, then he or she should seek a second opinion. It never hurts to receive two medical examinations.
After seeing a doctor, an employee will know exactly what he or she needs to do to treat any substantial injuries. This involves knowing how much time to take off work. A doctor can also determine if any kind of permanent disability has developed. The employer should always pay the initial medical bills. In the event the doctor discovers the injury was a direct result of the company’s negligence, then the employer would need to continue paying for any future medical treatments.