Yes, report all workplace injuries, minor or not, to avoid future complications, exercise your legal rights, ensure medical coverage, and promote a safer environment.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), a staggering 350 million workplace accidents occur each year. Work-related injuries can include everything from slip-and-falls and struck-by accidents to repetitive strain injuries and burns.
You may be hesitant to report your injury when you get injured at work. This is all the more true if the injury seems relatively minor, like a cut, bruise, or a pulled muscle. On the one hand, the injury seems minor and is likely to go away on its own, but on the other hand, the minor injury might lead to more severe complications.
So, is reporting a minor workplace injury worth the effort?
Should You Report a Minor Injury at Work?
Yes.You should always report any workplace injury regardless of its severity. Most workplaces have clear protocols on how to handle such injuries. By following company procedures, you can do yourself and the company a huge favor. Here are a couple of reasons why you should always report minor injuries.
To Sidestep Future Complications
Seemingly minor injuries, if left unchecked, could spiral out of control. This escalation risks your health and could put you out of work for a long time. Reporting these minor injuries could help you avoid more severe complications in the future that work to your and your employer’s detriment.
It’s Your Legal Right
Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws make it a legal right for most employees to report workplace injuries and receive workers’ compensation. There’s no minimum injury threshold for workers’ comp, but instead covers all injuries. By pursuing your workers’ comp claim, you can receive a settlement for the injuries, assisting you with the costs associated with medical bills and time off work.
Creates a Safer Work Environment
Most employers encourage vigilance on issues concerning safety in the workplace. You can promote a safe working environment and a culture of vigilance and openness by reporting minor injuries. Your actions will also encourage other workers to report their injuries for a safer workplace.
It’s also worth noting that injuries you don’t report go untreated. This means you’ll have to work at a fraction of your usual capability, putting you and other employees at risk of further injuries. It’s better to report the injuries and foster a safer and more conducive environment for your fellow workers.
How Long Do I Have to Report an Injury?
In Missouri, workers have 30 days from the date of the injury to report their injury to their employers. They also have two years from the date of injury knowledge to file their workers’ comp claim. Failing to do so could ruin your chances of receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
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Even minor injuries could seriously compromise your earning ability and hurt you financially. That’s why you should always report minor injuries to your employer so you can begin your claims process.
Have you been injured on the job? Speak with an experienced St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann to learn more about how we can protect your legal right to compensation after a work injury.
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