How and To Whom Do You Report a Workplace Accident?

Top 10 Most Common Workplace Injuries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other regulatory bodies have helped put so many preventative measures in place. Despite the efforts, accidents in the workplace, unfortunately, still happen.

It’s important that when such incidents happen, they are reported immediately. Reporting helps companies control the risk and prevent further accidents.

But how and to whom should you report a workplace accident?

According to the National Safety Council, employees should report any safety incident that might have led to an accident, regardless of whether an injury occurred. Workers should report these incidents directly to their employers.

When reporting, the employee must record the type of accident, the time and place where the accident occurred, the persons involved, and other vital details.

In this post, we will discuss how workers should report workplace accidents and answe the question ” to whom do you report a workplace accident?”. Read on to learn more.

When Should an Accident Be Reported?

Employees injured in an accident at work are entitled to workers’ compensation. However, you cannot claim workers’ comp benefits until you report your accident to your employer.

So, when should an accident be reported?

Workplace accidents should be reported immediately. Most U.S states have strict deadlines (statute of limitations) that you must meet for you to have a valid claim.

Notice that the statute of limitations differs across states. In some states, the deadline for reporting is 30 days, but it can be as short as three days or as long as two years in others.

reporting a workplace injury

Regardless, the earlier you inform your employer, the sooner you receive treatment and recover compensation for your injuries. Waiting longer before reporting the accident can make the insurance company skeptical and possibly dispute your claim.

If you need emergency medical treatment after a workplace accident, you can visit a hospital first and notify your employer as soon as possible.

However, reporting is advisable even if the accident does not result in injuries. Reporting the incident can encourage your employer to implement new safety procedures to prevent more accidents from occurring in the future.

Who Should Report the Accident?

Under the workers’ compensation laws, it is the responsibility of employees to report accidents occurring at the workplace.

So, if an accident occurs at the workplace, the present worker(s) should report the accident to the employer immediately. Near miss accidents (when a worker nearly has an accident but was able to avoid it) should also be reported.

Reporting is essential for prevention purposes. Employers use these reports to investigate the matter and take measures to prevent similar accidents from recurring.

Employees should:

  • Take action to deal with the immediate risk
  • Contact the emergency services if needed
  • Contact the supervisor and inform them of the situation
  • Report the incident in the employer’s First Report of Accident

To Whom Do You Report a Workplace Accident?

We’ve mentioned that employees are responsible for reporting workplace accidents. But as an employee, who should you report a workplace accident to?

Employees should report workplace accidents to the supervisor or human resource manager immediately. You can complete a formal accident report, issue a handwritten letter, type an email, or send a text message to your supervisor or HR manager.

Upon being informed, the supervisor should visit the accident scene to ensure the involved employee(s) get immediate medical attention if necessary.

to whom do you report a workplace accident

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The supervisor will also work to manage any safety hazards that could have contributed to the accident. If any employee suffers injuries, the supervisor must fill the First Report of Work Injury form within the time limits in your state.

Apart from form completion, the supervisor should notify Workers’ Compensation of people who could have witnessed the accident.

What Should be Reported?

All accidents, no matter how minor they seem, should be reported to the employer. Accidents involving minor injuries like small cuts and non-extensive bruises that do not require any safety action from the company can go unreported.

However, any accident involving severe injuries that require investigation and action from the company should be dutifully reported.

The issues that should be included in a typical workplace accident reporting procedure include:

  • Fatality
  • Head, face, or skull injuries
  • Back, spine, or rib injuries
  • Incapacitation or limb dislocation
  • Contamination from hazardous substances
  • Poisoning
  • Any other injury requiring medical care

When you need medical coverage, you should report the workplace accident immediately. Remember, insurance benefits may need approval after the investigation, so timely reporting helps you receive the benefits sooner.

How Do I Report a Workplace Accident?

There are deadlines for reporting workplace accidents to the employer. However, how you report the accident is also essential in safeguarding your right to file a claim.

The procedure for reporting an accident in a workplace depends on the state where you work. But generally, the first step is to report the accident to your supervisor or the HR department, preferably in writing.

Some states require written notice, while others permit a verbal one. But to be safe, workers should report all workplace accidents to the supervisory staff in writing.

As earlier mentioned, you may fill the incident report in any written format. After completing the official forms, you submit them to your employer. The officials responsible will then initiate an investigation.

workplace injury resulting in a lawsuit

Remember, the employee reporting the accident must cooperate if called in for questioning to provide additional details. Generally, you should provide accurate information in the incident report.

The incident report should include:

  • The location of the accident
  • The date and time
  • Persons involved or injured
  • Their position or involvement in the accident
  • Involved persons’ immediate actions after the accident

Remember to keep a copy of the correspondence for your records. You might need it if your employer’s insurance company questions whether you reported the workplace accident injury on time.

Are There Other Employee Obligations

Reporting a workplace accident is not the only obligation that an employee has to meet. As you know, workplace accidents go hand in hand with injuries.

So, after reporting the accident to your employer, you must:

  • Go to the emergency room if you need immediate treatment
  • Visit a clinic for assessment if you did not suffer any noticeable injuries
  • Follow up on the workers’ compensation claim

Employers will not always advocate for you as an employee. They want to maximize profits, so never imagine they would do their best to follow up your worker’s comp claim.

It is your responsibility to fight for your rights and get fair compensation. If you need help with the claims process or want to increase your chances of success, consider hiring a workers’ comp attorney.

Contact a Lawyer Today

Reporting a workplace accident can be strict in terms of deadlines and accuracy of details. If you intend to seek compensation for your damages, a single mistake when reporting an accident can significantly affect the outcome of your claim.

Luckily, the workers’ compensation lawyers who partner with Legal Giant are knowledgeable about accident reporting and the claims process. They offer a free initial consultation that allows you to review your legal options risk-free.

Contact us today if you suffered injuries from a workplace accident and want to protect your right to fair compensation.

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