When you hear the term “workplace injuries,” your mind might automatically go to catastrophic events. But most incidents don’t fall into this category. They don’t involve fatalities or massive injuries. In fact, a majority of accidents result in relatively small cuts and bruises.
You might feel silly about documenting every one of these comparably trivial situations. You’re not alone. One study found that a third of workers were too scared to report an injury on the job.
This is understandable. Corporate bureaucracies can be intimidating. You don’t want the inconvenience and embarrassment of filing a formal report for every minor safety incident. You may also face peer pressure to downplay the severity of an injury.
Still, you shouldn’t let these structural barriers keep you from filing any necessary paperwork. Your employer should facilitate proper record-keeping for any workplace incident. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider whether to report a workplace injury:
Know Your Rights
Often, the corporate culture discourages a formal accident report. The company purposely makes the paperwork complicated. Meanwhile, the worker has to devote their own time to the process. The company promotes a vibe that everyone should be “tough” or a “team player.”
Even in these situations, you should have confidence in your right to report a workplace injury. OHSA, the main federal government regulator for safety issues, protects workers who reveal a workplace injury. Federal law prohibits companies from retaliating against anyone filing a claim.
Protect Your Long-Term Health
Even a seemingly small injury can turn into something serious. It’s important to report even minor incidents. That way, you’ll have a paper trail if things get deteriorate.
Let’s look at a hypothetical situation. You twist your ankle. It seems like a slight inconvenience, so you don’t report it. After a few days, the pain remains intense, and you head to the doctor.
Turns out, they find a hairline fracture. Suddenly, you’re looking at steep medical bills and a longer recovery than you expected.
However, since you didn’t file a formal accident report, you might have trouble with the corporate bureaucracy. Now, getting worker’s comp or other benefits could prove difficult.
Avoid this problem by reporting an incident as soon as it happens. Then, you’ll have a paper trail if you need one later on.
Find an Employer with a Healthy Safety Culture
You should never be afraid to report a workplace injury or complain about unnecessarily hazardous conditions. It’s important that your employer knows this information. The company should also keep a record of all incidents.
If you don’t feel confident in the company you work for, it might be time for a change. You should always feel confident that your employer has your best interest at heart.
Working with a top recruiter, like SmartTalent, can help you achieve this confidence. You can locate the perfect situation for you, beginning a long-term relationship with a safety-first company.