By: Scott Morefield

From the minute you step into our office to interview with a staffing manager, we are rooting for you. We’re rooting for your interview to go well and that you’re a good fit for the positions we have available. We’re rooting for your references to check out, for your drug test to come back squeaky clean, and for your background check to come back as expected. And once you accept the job and walk out our doors, we’re rooting, really really rooting, for you to show up on that first day ready to roll, ready to make us look good. We’re rooting for you to ‘wow’ our clients so much they’ll just have to have you as a full-time associate as soon as possible, and just have to ask us for more where you came from.

But, most of all, we’re rooting for something that’s even more important than all those other things…

We’re rooting for you to work safely!

We understand that accidents happen even in the safest workplaces. Sometimes they aren’t anybody’s fault, least of all the person directly involved. When one of our associates gets injured on the job, the last thing we want to think is that they were careless, lazy (skipping steps), insubordinate (those safety rules are there for a reason), under the influence of some substance that could have impaired their judgment, or even faking the injury altogether. We want to think our associates are on the up and up with us, and when they are genuinely, accidentally injured on the job we want to do everything we can to make them whole as soon and as effectively as possible.

With that said, should the thing we’re rooting for the most NOT to happen actually happen to you, and you are hurt on the job, there are a few things you need to do to ensure your claim is processed smoothly.

Report any on-the-job injury immediately – If you want us to wonder whether or not you strained your back trying to fix your lawn mower, climbing in the attic, or playing softball last weekend, all you need to do is report an injury to us sometime AFTER the day it actually, supposedly, allegedly happened. Please, please, please report your injury to us and/or your immediate supervisor the very minute it happens! If failing to do so doesn’t result in your claim eventually being denied, it’ll at the very least result in a raised eyebrow and a write-up for your record.

Don’t go to the Emergency Room unless absolutely necessary – The Emergency Room is supposed to be just for that – emergencies. If you don’t report your injury and instead go to the ER on your own thinking you’ll file the claim later, we’re probably going to think you’re just looking for pain meds, and so will the doctors. If the accident happens at night and it’s not traumatic, overly painful, or life-threatening, it can probably wait until the morning. You likely aren’t going to get the best care anyway, you’ll probably never see that doctor again, and your claim could be delayed because ERs are notorious for not having a clue where to send the bill, then hassling you for it six months down the road. And to top it all off, you could go to the ER with a cut finger and come out with the flu or, if you’re not so lucky, a staph infection!

Cooperate with our investigation – Our goal is to investigate every claim, no matter how small. We do this for a couple of reasons – 1.) To ensure your claim is legitimate, and 2.) To ensure our clients maintain a safe workplace. We’ll likely need you to come back to the location of the accident and re-enact what happened for us as well as the plant management. Sure, if it’s your fault this can be embarrassing, but we need all the information we can get to prevent future injuries.

Follow our instructions – Reporting an on-the-job injury to an employer always involves choosing a medical provider on that employer’s Panel of Physicians as well as submitting to a 12-panel drug test. Failing to follow our instructions regarding these matters will make us wonder just what you were high on when you stuck your finger into that conveyor for no apparent reason. Additionally, keep your scheduled medical appointments, bring your status forms to us as you receive them from your provider, and report on-time as scheduled for your light duty assignment (if applicable).

Of course, the very best thing you can do is to not get hurt in the first place. A significant percentage of our on-the-job injuries happen, frankly, because of carelessness. It’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of bravado, to take that ‘shortcut’ and stick your hand somewhere it shouldn’t be ‘just for a second.’ The minute you think it could never happen to you is the minute that machine peels the skin from your fingers like a glove. Remember, while we want you to always do a good job for our clients, coming home safe at the end of the day is by far the most important thing you can accomplish. We can ‘root’ for it all we want, but in the end you’re the only one who can make it happen.

This article was originally published here.

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