On-the-job injuries range from nuisance to debilitating, and there’s not only the injury to consider, but also lost time and legal reporting requirements. When your injury includes musculoskeletal damage, seeking treatment with Watson Chiropractic is a prudent choice, but it’s only one part of the process.
No one plans on having a workplace accident, so the steps necessary to treat your injury, minimize recovery time, and meet reporting obligations may seem overwhelming at the time of the accident. Here’s a short primer to help you through the process in the state of Washington.
Seek first aid immediately
Even minor injuries can have major complications if simple steps aren’t taken at the time of the incident. All workplaces in Washington are required by law to have a first aid kit available. This kit will be stocked with simple supplies such as swabs, bandages, and antiseptics for simple cuts, and may include a wider range of items in larger workplaces. Caring for the injury is your first priority.
Visit a doctor if necessary
For injuries that are more severe or that have the potential for complications, seek medical attention from the health care provider of your choice, including urgent care or emergency departments, when appropriate. At the time of your visit, mention that your injury occurred in your workplace, and they will help you start the process of filing a workers compensation claim.
Notify your employer
The claim information started when you received medical care initiates a process with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, and your case will return to your employer.
Therefore, you must notify them that you’ve sought medical care for a workplace injury or occupational disease. Your employer has their own responsibilities under the law, and they must be made aware of your injury to fulfill their obligations.
In many cases, your employer or their representative is aware of the accident or injury. They’re obligated to ensure you receive medical attention, so it’s possible they may insist you see a care provider, even if you think you’re okay to continue working.
They’re also required to complete the employer section of an accident report form, and if you have medical clearance, they should consider keeping you at work under modified duties if necessary. They may be reimbursed by L&I for keeping you on in a light duty role.
Returning to work
When you’re medically cleared for modified or full duties, it’s up to you to attempt a return to work. It’s in your best interest, helping to speed recovery and maintain your full standing with your employer. Be aware of any medical restrictions your health caregiver may impose, since these may affect the work you do.
If you’re under care at Watson Chiropractic, be sure to finish the recommended course of treatment, and consider incorporating chiropractic care into your overall wellness plan going forward.
Regular chiropractic care keeps your body operating at peak efficiency, able to heal and recover quickly from day-to-day stresses and strains. Call the office or request an appointment online to get started today.