Getting hurt at work is an unpleasant occurrence. Being injured while working for someone else is sure to affect you in a number of ways. It can impact your ability to earn and pay your bills; it can cause discomfort; and it can knock your confidence, making you uneasy about performing tasks that you have always been happy to do in the past. In very serious cases, such as receiving, for example, a severe injury to the head while at work, it can even mean that you are unable to return to your job – or indeed to work of any kind.
Most work-based injuries should not happen: health and safety officers, workplace regulations, and risk assessments are all designed to make sure that employees are safe in the workplace. However, if an injury has happened, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that you do not lose by having been injured.
If your mental health has been affected by your accident, do not hesitate to consult a therapist. While you may feel that you do not need to consult a health professional, it is always wiser to have an unnecessary appointment rather than not have a necessary one. Some mild anxiety or concerns about your accident may worsen into full-fledged anxiety, leading to panic-attacks and serious mental health issues. An ounce of prevention, as the saying goes, is worth a pound of cure.
Workplace protections should be in place for you, and this includes dealing with the aftermath of a workplace accident. Before you do anything else, consult your employer’s employee handbook. This manual, which should exist in every workplace, should have detailed information about what should happen, from steps taken to preventing the occurrence of an accident to what should be done should an accident happen.
If you suffer a physical injury, it is vitally important that you do the physiotherapy. Obviously, ensure that a detailed record is kept of your injuries, but then work your hardest to get yourself back into good condition with as much mobility as possible. Do not try to nurse your injuries in the hope of getting more compensation: it is not always possible to regain health and mobility once it has been lost.
If you obeyed workplace protocols, have consulted the company handbook, and have fully cooperated with any investigations, and feel that you have not been treated fairly as a result of the accident, consult a lawyer. Lawyers exist to ensure that you are treated fairly by your place of work, and can help to ensure that you get the space, time and money needed to effect a full recovery from your accident. Bear in mind: an accident may not be anyone’s fault, but that does not mean that you must carry the costs alone…