After a workplace accident occurs, it is essential for an employee to receive prompt treatment in order to mitigate the risk of future injury. A failure to ensure effective treatment occurs immediately after an accident could result in an injury becoming worse- which could mean the injury becomes reportable to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and which could mean an employee has a larger workers’ compensation claim.
Employees are entitled to full workers’ comp benefits, including payment of medical bills, for all injuries that are work-related. This includes treatment for any exacerbation of injuries that results from inadequate treatment. An Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer can help employees to pursue benefits claims so they can take full advantage of the protections afforded under Georgia law.
Effective Post Injury Treatment When An Atlanta Workplace Accident Happens
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently responded to a situation in which an employee ended up passing out after his initial injury happened. Because the employee fainted, the injury ultimately was considered one in which a loss of consciousness occurred.
29 CFR 1904 sets forth requirements for when injuries must be reported to OSHA, and a situation where a worker loses consciousness must be reported. This was the case even though the injury was only a scratched finger, which is a minor injury that otherwise would not have necessitated OSHA be alerted.
The employee passed out after sustaining a scratch when a co-worker had provided him with a Band-Aid. The employee was unable to handle the site of blood. No additional injury or treatment was necessary, but the employer still had to go through the OSHA reporting process.
In some situations where employees are injured, the stakes of post injury treatment will be much higher than when a finger is scratched. A serious injury needs prompt and effective treatment, and to maximize the chances an injured worker will be taken care of, employers should:
- Have an advanced plan in place for responding to work injuries and train employees in appropriate protocol and in the use of first aid and emergency equipment.
- Have a first aid kit and other necessary safety supplies available and easily accessible in the workplace.
- Assign a designated “safety officer” who will be in charge of monitoring emergency supplies.
- Have a contact list in place specifying emergency contacts and telling employees who to call after an injury happens.
- Provide wireless communication devices and communication equipment to employees who must work offsite and train workers on how to appropriately use this equipment.
Employees also need to understand their rights when an injury happens. Employees should try to get to a safe place after an injury happens, should seek professional help right away, and should report the injury to an employer as soon as possible.
Even if an injury does not appear serious, an employee should still get an accurate medical diagnosis and should still report the injury in case symptoms become worse later. Since an employee needs to prove the injury was work-related to make an Atlanta workers’ comp claim, it is helpful to have a record of how the injury happened and of the extent of the damage.
Parsons & Associates, P.C. is an Atlanta workers’ compensation law firm serving Atlanta, Savannah, and surrounding areas throughout Fulton County. Contact Parsons & Associates, P.C. today at 770-422-9000 or contact us online if you have been injured at work.