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Responding to an injury at the workplace

Minnesota workers and their employers may benefit from understanding the recommended course of action if an injury ever occurs on the job. The employer's response to an incident typically has a substantial impact on the outcome or resolution of the workplace accident. In order to ensure that work injuries or illnesses are handled properly, management should be required to adhere to protocol or procedures that have already been established and implemented through training.

Management should be expected to tend to employee safety first and foremost. If the injury is severe enough to require immediate medical attention, dialing 911 for an ambulance may be advised. When the injury does not qualify as an emergency, the injured worker should still be brought to a health care facility to receive medical treatment. The employee may be transported to a local walk-in clinic or the medical provider approved by the employer's' workers compensation carrier.

Employers are also expected to secure the scene of an accident to help uphold the integrity of any subsequent investigations. In order to avoid secondary accidents from occurring, employers should limit access to the area and isolate any equipment that was involved in the accident. Employers are expected to file an incident report with their workers' compensation carrier within 24 hours following the accident. The injured employee may be entitled to receive accommodations through a return-to-work or transitional job modified program.

Employees who suffer an on-the-job injury often choose to obtain legal assistance in pursuing a claim for benefits through workers' compensation. An attorney who has experience in this area can help to prepare and file the required claim and can also provide representation at a later hearing should the claim be denied or disputed.

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