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What You Should Do If You’re Injured at Work

Whether you’re routinely perched atop a ladder, or just negotiating the busy corridors at the office, workplace injuries can happen in obvious, and not-so-obvious, ways. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there were 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries or a rate of 2.9 per 100 full-time employees.

While these numbers may seem high, they’re a vast improvement over the five injuries per 100 employees reported only 15 years ago. Thanks to renewed emphasis on safety programs, employers are making big strides in preventing workplace injuries. But accidents still happen.

Here at Watson Chiropractic, we specialize in swiftly handling workplace injuries at our three offices in Kent, Tacoma, and SeaTac, ensuring you get the care you need, as well as the assistance you need negotiating workers’ comp claims.

If you’re injured on the job, here’s what you need to know.

Get help

Before we get into the ins and outs of workers’ comp claims, our primary concern is your health. If you’ve been injured on the job, we urge you to alert someone right away. Even if your injury seems minor, if it’s not treated correctly right from the start, you may end up dealing with a long-term issue.

So, report your injury to your supervisor or boss right away, so they can help you make the call on seeking medical help. And, by doing so, you’re on record as having reported the injury in case it turns into something that keeps you from being able to perform your job down the road.

It’s also important to note that every workplace in Washington State is required to have a first-aid kit, so if you’ve cut yourself or twisted an ankle, avail yourself of this kit while you figure out your next steps.

As you decide whether you need medical attention, you should consider a few things. First, any injury to your head or your spine should be looked at as soon as possible. You may not notice a problem, but our chiropractors are trained to spot the telltale signs of a larger health issue.

Outside of head and spine injuries, rely on your common sense. If you’ve twisted your ankle and the swelling doesn’t go down after a day or two of icing, you need to come in and have us take a look. Or, if you have low back pain that continues to nag you after some rest, we can help get to the bottom of the pain.

Coordinating care

In Washington State, workplace injuries fall under the purview of the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). This entity was created to oversee the safety, health, and security of the 2.5 million workers in Washington. One of the organization’s goals is to ensure that you receive the medical care you need, as well as limited wage-replacement coverage.

One of the advantages at Watson Chiropractic is our extensive experience working with the L&I to make sure that your injury is treated and healed, getting you back to your job as soon as is medically prudent.

Whether your injury sidelines you for a few days, or much longer, we can help you negotiate the L&I process so that you receive the care and coverage you’re entitled to. We also work with your employer, ensuring that they get the information they need.

One of our biggest goals at our clinics is to help you prevent re-injury, which is very common when workers don’t take the time they need to heal correctly. We’ll monitor your injury, while staying in contact with the L&I and your employer, and give you the green light when we’re sure you’re in the clear and healthy enough to go back to work. All too often, employees may feel pressured to return to work too soon, which can turn a small injury into a more significant issue very quickly.

When it comes to workplace injuries, we can’t stress enough the importance of exercising caution and prompt action. Workplace injuries fall squarely into the “better safe than sorry” category, so make an appointment to come see us, no matter how minor your injury may be. You can make your appointment by calling us or using the online scheduling tool here on our website.

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