What Do I Do if I Get Hurt at Work?
Getting your first job is an exciting prospect. You get to earn your own money and you have more freedom then you did before. You might be prepared for various challenges, but have you thought about what you are supposed to do if you get hurt while you are working?
Inform Your Employer
If it is not a life-threatening injury, the first thing you should do is inform your supervisor. When you get hurt at work, you are eligible to have your employer pay for your medical bills, but you have to follow the proper procedures. Your supervisor will help you with any paperwork and make sure you know what you need to do.
Seek Proper Medical Treatment
Go see a doctor as soon as possible. Instead of going to your primary care physician, talk to your employer about which doctor you should go to. Your employer has insurance for worker’s injuries and if you go to a doctor outside of their network, they won’t cover your medical bills. If you are confused about this, have your parents come with you to talk to your boss. You should also keep all the documentation from the doctor about your injuries so you can file a report.
Follow the Doctor’s Orders
This may seem like common sense, but you need to make sure that you do what the doctor tells you to. If the doctor tells you not to go to work, don’t go. If they tell you not to lift heavy things, don’t. You run a huge risk of hurting yourself more severely, so be careful. You don’t want to hurt yourself more or cause yourself any more pain than you are already in.
Review Workers’ Compensation
See if your employer provides a workers’ compensation program that benefits injured workers. The information about this should be in your employee handbook. You probably aren’t eligible to collect lost wages, but if the accident was caused by negligence, you may receive some compensation. If you have more questions or can’t find the information, talk to the human resources department.
Consult a Lawyer
Hopefully, your employer is easy to work with and they are willing to pay any medical bills or provide the compensation that they are required to. However, some companies will try to get out of giving you the compensation you deserve. If you run into this problem, find a lawyer who has experience with worker’s compensation claims. They will go over your case with you and help you get the assistance that you need to pay your bills.
The likelihood of being seriously injured at your first job is pretty small. Follow safety regulations, and the chances get even smaller, but they are still there. It’s better to know what to do if you end up in this situation than to get overwhelmed by everything that happens when you are hurt.