Workplace injuries are generally unusual events for most California workers. Workers are typically safety conscious and diligent at avoiding getting injured for self-preservation’s sake. But, workplace accidents do happen, and it is important to know what to do when they occur. There are different protocols depending on where the injury actually happens, as some injured workers are actually at a central facility where medical personnel may be immediately available and others may be working in a remote location. Regardless of the situation, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, and especially if the injury is serious and it is an emergency situation.
Most employees are injured at a central facility where others are around who can offer immediate help. However, that help should be limited to emergency assistance and contacting immediate supervision for further directions. Depending on the severity of the personal injury and on-site medical facility availability, seek medical attention as quickly as needed. Supervisory input is important, and some injuries can wait for medical assessment. Serious injury cases are often such that medical treatment cannot wait, so seeking treatment and contacting supervision by phone in the process is best.
Accidents that happen in remote work locations are a different process. While it is important to contact supervisory personnel as soon as possible, it may be necessary to call 911 first. Sometimes it may be better to go to a facility instead of waiting for medical technicians. The general rule for reporting a work-related personal injury is at least 24 hours in a remote location situation, but 30 days can even be the timeline with an injury that does not manifest until much later.
Remember that all companies in California will want to conduct an accident investigation per OSHA requirement regardless of seriousness. Scenarios can vary widely in work-related injury cases, but validating the injury on a timeline is crucial to establishing a workers’ compensation claim.