Did you know that globally, about 2 million workers die from work-related accidents every year? Unfortunately, even with this alarming number, reporting workplace injury is not a common theme. But even if someone’s injuries are not deadly, it’s still important to report them so they can be eligible for benefits.
There are also other reasons why you should report a workplace injury. So if you want to know more about the importance of reporting a workplace injury, then keep reading our guide!
The Importance of Reporting Workplace Injury
Reporting workplace accidents to your employer help protect your interests and the business. For starters, even a small injury can become serious over time.
And if you didn’t report the incident when it happened, your employer will not be able to offer you workers’ compensation. Your employer could also argue that the injury happened outside of work!
Not to mention, it also shows consideration for your employer and other colleagues when you report a workplace injury. For example, if you fell because there wasn’t a wet floor sign, you could prevent further accidents from happening by reporting the incident.
By not filing a workplace injury report, other employers could potentially fall as well. So always report, even the smallest injuries to your employer so that any workplace hazards can be taken out!
When Is the Best Time to Report a Workplace Injury?
If you live in Texas, you need to inform your employer within a 30 period, from the date you were injured. You could also report from the day you noticed your injury was work-related.
If you report any injuries outside of this time frame, you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation. Your employer must also file your claim, within 7 days of the reported injury.
If they fail to do so, your employer may not be able to argue your claim or request further investigations. In some cases, they may face penalties from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Lastly, if you’re an employer/employee not based in Texas, visit your state’s specific laws on worker compensation for a more accurate timeline!
How to Report a Workplace Injury
Report workplace accidents are important but many employees may not know how to do so. For starters, make sure you report your injury to the correct personnel.
Typically, they will be your supervisor or HR team. Once you report the incident to the correct person, you will need to fill out a workplace injury form.
In this form, it’s essential to be precise and very detailed! There are many cases where conflicts arise because the worker sustained injuries to multiple parts of their body. However, they only disclosed the more severe injury.
So always report all injuries, even if they are minor. For example, if you fell and suffered a wrist injury but you’re having minor back pain as well, report both injuries!
There are also case where new injuries arise from a work injury. For example, if you suffered an ankle injury, and you had to wear a cast, the cast could’ve caused other injuries since it causes you to walk abnormally.
Or maybe you suffered further injuries during physical therapy. If so, you should report this to your employer!
But once you’ve reported any and all injuries, send a filled copy of the DWC Form-041 to the Texas Department of Insurance. This will protect your rights in the case that your paperwork gets mishandled.
“I Never Reported My Workplace Injury and Now I Need Medical Assistance”
These cases are seen far too often. And unfortunately not much can be done in this scenario. However, there are severe cases where you can still be eligible to receive workers’ compensation.
For example, in some states, you may still be eligible to receive worker compensation after 30 days, if you can prove one of these scenarios:
- You were not aware of the law on reporting work injuries
- You admit that it was your mistake or neglect
- You were physically or mentally unable to report the injury
- Your employer is fraudulent or misrepresented your case
In the case that 180 days passed, you may be able to receive benefits if you were mentally or physically disabled, which prevented you from reporting any injuries.
What If My Boss Neglects My Workplace Injury?
Although rare, there have been cases where a higher-up or HR does not follow the proper steps after an injury. So if you correctly reported a workplace injury and to no avail, you’ll have to seek legal help.
However, be aware that employers have the right to investigate a workplace injury. So if your claim has been falsified, they can easily detect this. You can learn more here about false workers’ reports and how they affect a business!
Nevertheless, here are the steps you can take if you believe your accurate report was not handled properly. For starters, you’ll need to contact an attorney with experience in workers’ compensation law.
The best lawyers will help you better understand your rights and responsibilities as it pertains to your injuries. Once you’ve gotten connected with a lawyer, they will review the case and give you a summary.
If the case looks good, the lawyer may want to go to court or propose an in-house delegation with your employee. Overall, you should only look for a lawyer if you know that your injuries were sustained at work. If you falsify any reports, you could face legal action and lose your employment.
Reporting Workplace Injury Made Easy
Now that you know the importance of reporting workplace injury, you will never fall short of benefits. So remember to follow these guidelines to avoid further disputes between you and your employer.
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