The Importance of Reporting All Injuries
There are many reasons why you should report any type of injury to your supervisor. The most important reason is to make sure the root cause or hazard is made safe for others at the work site. Another reason is to further share your experience, or lessons learned from the incident to prevent it from occurring in the future.
With injuries, even just minor ones, it is important to get them reviewed by a supervisor or safety representative. While many injuries, such as a small cut or an insect sting, may not seem like a big deal, they can turn into one.
A quick example:
You are bit by some type of insect on a Friday afternoon at work but decide not to tell anyone for various reasons. You leave work and are home for a few hours when you notice that the bite area is beginning to swell up. Along with the swelling, you notice that you have hives and are having trouble breathing. You realize it is a serious allergic reaction and needs medical attention. You tell the doctor you were bit or stung at work and the treatment he gives you ends up being considered “medical attention”. Because it happened at work and you needed medical attention beyond first aid, it is now an OSHA recordable injury. In this situation there are a few problems since the injury was not reported to someone at work immediately.
- There is no record or witness to it happening at work which could raise concern by the employer whether or not the injury occurred at work. This may end up in a drawn-out dispute since there have been other employees in the past who have faked or had injuries off the job, but stated it occurred at work in an attempt for it to be paid through worker’s compensation.
- If the injury was reported immediately someone may have been able to recognize that it may develop into an allergic reaction. There could have been options for first aid instead of medical treatment to treat the issue before it worsened which would have saved you a trip to the hospital and the company an OSHA recordable.
All injuries need to be reported, no matter how small. Not only does it protect you, but it also protects the company by possibly preventing what might be a “first aid” injury developing into an OSHA recordable. In Construction, OSHA recordables can affect your company’s ability to be awarded bids while workplace injuries affect your company’s bottom line. You never know when something that seems minor in nature will develop into something more serious.
Think Safe, Be Safe