Worker’s Compensation is insurance that your employer carries to protect you in the case of an injury or illness that occurs due to your work.
An occupational injury is an injury that results in bodily damage from work. Slips, trips, and falls account for over a third of all injuries that happen at work. Most common injuries involve the spine, hands, head, lungs, eyes, skeleton, and skin. Occupational injuries can result from exposure to hazards (physical, chemical, biological, or psychosocial). Examples are temperature, noise, insect or animal bites, blood-borne pathogens, aerosols, hazardous chemicals, and radiation.
If you are injured on the job, notify your supervisor or human resource department immediately. At that time, they will inform you of where to seek treatment. It is important they complete the necessary paper work to get your treatment authorized. It is the law that you report your injury within 30 days of your knowledge of an accident. If it is an emergency and your employer is not available to tell you where to go for treatment, go to your nearest emergency room and let your employer know as soon as possible.
It is required by law that your employer reports your injury to his insurance company within seven days of when you report your accident or injury.
Employers have many safety features in-place, but injuries still occur due to poor ergonomics, manual handing of heavy loads, misuse or failure of equipment, exposure to general hazards, and inadequate safety training.
If you are being treated for an occupational injury it is important to:
- Follow doctor’s instructions to speed full recovery.
- Attend an Independent Medical Examination if you are required to do so.
- Get back to work as soon as possible.
- Attend such hearings as may be held in the case, when you are notified to appear.
It is important to understand that if you are injured on-the-job your personal medical insurance will not cover you. You must go through your employer for full reimbursements. Your injury is a “work-related” injury and therefore not a covered benefit under your personal medical insurance. For more information on workplace injury you can visit the Florida Division of Workers Compensation.