GOOD ADVICE FOR INJURED WORKERS
1) Notify Your Employer
If you are injured on the job, always report it to your employer as soon as possible – even if the injury, at least initially, seems insignificant. What may at first appear to be a minor symptom or injury may be the sign of a more serious symptom or injury that will get worse over time.
2) Go to a Doctor
Seek immediate medical attention for all injuries. If you are unwilling or unable to do so, at a minimum, seek medical attention for any injury that causes you to lose any time from work or for which symptoms (pain, numbness, tingling, etc.) last for more than a few days.
As to number 1) and 2) above, please keep in mind that if you sustain an injury on a specific date and you fail to report it and also fail to seek medical attention, BEFORE your job/position is terminated, either by your employer or yourself – you will not be entitled to any compensation in most cases.
3) Return to Work
Whenever possible, continue working. The recovery you ultimately receive in a Workers’ Compensation matter will not make up for a lost job. Keep in mind that you know your body better than anyone else. If you feel you can return to work doing your usual job or a modified job, do so unless, of course, your employer will not permit you to do so.
If a physician (even one from an Industrial Medical Clinic) says you can return to work, but you feel you are unable to do so, do not refuse to return to work. You will face losing your job if the only medical evidence your employer has says you are able to work and you choose not to do so.
In that circumstance, it is better to return to work, be cautious with your body mechanics and try to work for a short time – 2 hours, 2 days . . . But if you feel you are hurting yourself or your injury is still being aggravated, let your employer know, if you can’t continue working, also advise your employer. By doing this, you will have complied with the doctor’s recommendations, regarding your return to work status by trying to return to work and will be showing your employer that you want to return to work, but that it is, at least at that time, premature to do so. At that point, you should ask to see the same or another doctor to address your injuries.
(MORE INFORMATION TO FOLLOW IN FUTURE BLOGS)