Without diminishing in the slightest the importance of safety precautions in the workplace, it’s important to admit that avoiding all accidents is a nearly impossible task, especially in some lines of work. Falling objects, malfunctioning machinery or overexertion are only a few types of accidents can happen in an instant without anyone’s fault. In some cases, the symptoms of an undiagnosed illness can make someone act negligently unintentionally.
As an employee, it can be scary to be the victim of a work-related accident. Besides the concern for your health, you have to worry about many other aspects. What happens to your position? When will you be able to resume work? How are you going to pay for your expenses while recovering? Will you be able to work again to the same capacity?
Here are a few suggestions to help you overcome an accident in the workplace with minimal mental, physical and financial discomfort.
Report the Accident Immediately
Acting calmly and rationally after an accident is often difficult. However, you must find the power to report the accident as soon as possible, when the evidence is still intact. Inform your supervisor and co-workers that you got hurt, including as many details as possible while they’re still fresh in your memory.
Your insurer will probably want to verify your claims by interviewing your supervisor and co-workers, even if they weren’t direct witnesses. Having photo and video evidence can be immensely helpful if you later have to claim compensation or disability benefits, so try to take pictures or record a video if you can. If not, ask someone else to do it for you.
File a Claim for Benefits
After assessing the state of your health with medical practitioners and establishing recovery procedures, you might start wondering about your legal rights following this work-related injury. In the case of a serious disability, you might find yourself in a legal battle with your employer and insurance carrier. It can be daunting to see they’re keener on protecting their interests than helping you overcome this difficult moment.
Should you hire an attorney when seeking disability? If the evidence in your case is not clear-cut and your injury is likely to keep you away from work for a significant amount of time, an attorney can help you get long-term benefits and protect your rights. You cannot trust that your employer and the insurance company will not withhold information or not use legal loopholes against you if it’s in their interests to do so.
Discuss A Return-to-Work Plan with Your Employer
It can be discouraging to know that you won’t be able to work for weeks or even months due to your work-related injury or illness. If you have a demanding, physically-active career, your mental state might get affected during the recovery process. The longer you are away from your job, the greater your fear and anxiety regarding your health, finances and career progress will grow.
To keep your spirits up during recovery, discuss a return-to-work plan with your employer. Inform your employer of your willingness to return to your former position or negotiate a flexible arrangement around the possibility to occupy a different job within the company that accommodates your health issues. Setting a date range for returning to work can be a source of optimism while recovering.
Keep Yourself Mentally Active
An injury or illness can have a strong negative impact on your motivation and mental health. However, even if your physical or mental abilities are impaired, it’s important to know that mental activities have a strong effect on health. Considering the limitations of your health condition, find activities that can demand your attention and focus in a meaningful way.
Having this window of free time is a good opportunity to brush up your professional skills, upgrade your resume, read extensively, write on your How to Overcome A Work-Related Accident expertise or connect online with professionals in your field. The recovery period can be thus productive. However, don’t exhaust yourself and take plenty of rest to ensure that you will recover without delay. Alternate between active time and rest, but don’t let apathy take over you.
Even when employers and employees take appropriate workplace safety precautions, rare accidents still happen. If for the business this means delays and loss of productive time, for you, as an employee, an accident is much more serious. It can put at risk your health, your financial future and your career goals, with no clear solution in sight. However, with the right mindset, you can reach the best outcome in the given circumstances.
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