27 Jul The Four Steps for Workplace Injury Reporting
Imagine this scenario: your employee bends to pick up a heavy box and feels a twinge in their back. He is able to continue working without any major pain, assumes that he isn’t injured, and doesn’t say anything to his supervisor about the pain. But then a few days later, he starts experiencing severe back pain, which prevents him from doing his job. In a scenario like this, injury reporting could have made a big difference!
To prevent an example like this from occurring in your own workplace, encourage your employees, managers, and supervisors to learn these four easy steps for workplace injury reporting.
After an injury or accident occurs, the employee reports it to their supervisor or manager. This step should be done as quickly as possible after the injury occurs, and all injuries should be reported. Even if an injury feels minor, it can lead to later pain. Some injuries, especially back and neck injuries, can also take a few days or even weeks to fully manifest.
Once the injury is reported, the employee needs to fill out a report of injury form. This form keeps a record of all details, like:
- When the injury occurred
- How the injury occurred
- Where the injury occurred
- The employee’s wages
- How many hours the employee works
Details like these will be used later for figuring out Workers’ Compensation. A clear, detailed injury report also helps employers learn how the accident occurred, so that similar incidents can be prevented in the future.
For the employee, the next step is setting up medical treatment for their injury. At this stage, they’ll receive a return-to-work evaluation form. This form will be filled out each every time they visit their doctor. It is used to help the injured employee and their employee come up with a timeline for their recovery, how long they may need the accommodations of a return-to-work program and when they will be healed enough to return to their previous role.
Finally, the employee begins participation in a return-to-work program. A return-to-work program is also sometimes called a “light duty” program. These programs exist to help injured employees who need accommodations or who cannot return to their previous role. For example, an employee with a back injury might be unable to lift heavy loads. With a return-to-work program, they might be temporarily assigned to a less strenuous role until they are healed enough to return to their labor-intensive job. During a return-to-work program, the employee will receive accommodations or work in a different role until they are able to return to their previous duties. This period of transitional work typically lasts for up to 90 days, though it may be extended if necessary.
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