Every injury suffered at work, no matter how small, should be reported to your employer.
State law requires workers to notify supervisors as soon as possible after any incident. The initial notification may be verbal, but it is best if it is followed up with a formal written accident or incident report. The law also requires that notification of any injury be submitted to the employer within 30 days. If you fail to meet these time requirements for notice, you run the risk of losing your rights to any benefits.
FILING A CLAIM
Under the law, any workers’ compensation claim for a work-related illness or injury must be filed within two-years from the accident, or from when you knew or should have known an illness was related to your job. If you fail to file a workers’ compensation claim with the NYSWCB within two years, your claim will be disallowed for failure to make a timely claim.
There is no shortage of workplace hazards. If you work in an industrial or construction setting as many in the Buffalo area do, job risks can include:
- Lifting, bending, pushing or pulling
- Unsafe work environments involving excavations, scaffolding or electrical shock or arc blasts
- Defective or falling equipment, explosions
- Slips, trips and falls
- Failure of the employer to provide the required protective equipment
This is hardly a comprehensive list, and the consequences of an injury from any of the conditions can be serious. Lacerations, muscle trauma, broken bones and traumatic brain injury are just a few of the potential injuries that can happen in the above examples. Injuries can also be caused by repetitive motion, and illness can be the result of chemical or biological hazards.
Any of these situations can lead to health conditions that leave employees unable to work and in danger of suffering economic hardship. The potential for injury or illness extends to the office setting as well.
Regardless of the injury or illness, regardless of its cause, the lesson is clear: give notice to your employer, and get a workers’ compensation law firm to assist with proper filing of your claim - because no condition should be ignored.