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Know what steps to take if injured at work

Suffering an injury at work can be an overwhelming experience, making it of the utmost importance to understand what steps to take following such an incident. It is important that the employee promptly seeks medical treatment for the injury and reports the injury to the worker's employer. In some circumstances a health care provider may be present at the job site and employees can follow instructions of employers if the employee should report to a different health care provider when one is not present at the job site.

If no on-site health care provider is available and the employer does not provide a health care provider, the worker should seek alternate health care. Once the worker sees a doctor, it is often necessary to tell the doctor that the injury is work related and to provide the name of the employee, as doing so allows the medical care costs to be billed to workers' compensation.

A family member may report the injury if the employee's medical condition prevents the employee from doing so. As soon as it is medically possible, the employee or a family member should provide written notice of the workplace accident to the employer. The written statement should simply provide the date of the accident and only a brief description of the injury is necessary; a copy of the statement should be retained by the employee. Lastly, it is important to follow the care instructions of the medical provider.

By following careful steps after a workplace accident to report a workplace injury, workers can ensure that their injuries are properly reported, that they receive proper medical care and that the workers' compensation process is available to assist them. Because workers may, unfortunately, sometimes encounter challenges and problems along the way, it is important that they have a thorough understanding of the workers' compensation process and how to report a claim.

Source: North Carolina Industrial Commission, "If You Have Been Injured At Work," Accessed April 7, 2015

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