On-the-job injuries can be stressful for everybody involved, but there is a set of easy procedures that the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development recommends to make these unpleasant circumstances more manageable. Please keep in mind while reading that this is neither legal nor medical advice.
The general directive is to promptly report and seek treatment for injuries. Issues about the details of the Workers’ Compensation system generally come after these immediate concerns.
Reporting injuries as soon as possible
Reporting an injury is the first recommended step. Workers can make this report to anybody with the proper authority in the organization, such as their direct supervisors or the personnel office.
When to do this is relatively clear in many cases. For example, if a worker slips and breaks a bone on a job site, it is obvious when the injury occurred.
However, some injuries have symptoms with delayed onset. Other injuries happen over a long time. The details are sometimes confusing, but the principle remains that employers need to know if their workplace caused or contributed to an injury.
Seeking medical attention
In most situations, injuries that are serious enough to report to an employer would also require medical attention. The DOL recommends that employees make a request if this is the case.
One of the reasons for this recommendation is that employers or their insurance carriers may make the decisions about who provides medical services. If employers remain unwilling to report accidents to their insurance carriers, workers may be able to do so by using the contact information that should be in a prominent spot in the workplace.
There are many things that could bring conflict into the Workers’ Compensation process. However, one of the main goals of the system is to help employees improve their injuries as much as possible without having to go up against their own employers.