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When an Ergonomic Injury or Illness Occurs at Work

Be prepared when an injury occurs at work. This checklist ensures that the proper steps are taken.

Step 1: Address Medical Care Issues

  • Emergency Care (serious injury, threatening to life or limb)
  • Dial 911 or other appropriate local number. (should be identified in advance and posted.)
    (Cal/OSHA must be immediately notified if injury results in fatality, inpatient hospitalization, loss of any body part, or possible permanent disfigurement- at least within 8 hours.)
  • Acute Care (non-emergency) Transport employee to the medical provider you have chosen from your workers’ compensation insurer’s Medical Provider Network.
  • Make sure the employee tells the treating physician or other appropriate medical facility staff that the injury happened while working.

Step 2: Address Hazard

Investigate the accident and address the problem.
  • Correct any immediate hazards to prevent further injuries.
  • Do NOT discard equipment or furnishings that caused injury.
  • Remove the equipment from service.
  • Tag the equipment for identification.
  • Contact management for inspection. (It may be appropriate to consult a professional safety or loss control expert.)
  • Provide accident summary and corrective actions taken to management.

Step 3: Complete Documentation

Within one working day of your knowledge of the injury, do the following:
  • Complete a Supervisors’ or Employer's Report of Incident (a report must be turned in to your workers’ compensation insurer, and provided within 24 hours of any injury.)
  • Do NOT give this form to the employee to complete.
  • Identify any possible witnesses who can identify what happened, what the injured person was doing before the injury and at the time of the injury.

Step 4: Address Payroll Issues

To ensure prompt and accurate payment of benefits, if your employee loses time from work (beyond the date of injury), please do the following:
  • Inform your department's payroll unit.

Step 5: Follow-up

Stay in contact with your injured employee to show concern for his/her well-being and desire for him/her to return to work. Discuss a mutually convenient time to call.

Step 6: Return to Work

Discuss possible accommodations, if necessary, when your employee is medically able to return to work.
  • Document accommodation discussions.
  • If you need assistance with reasonable accommodations, contact your HR contact.

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