Construction site accidents are common and while prevention is always better than cure, on a busy construction site, no matter how highly safety practices are adhered to accidents can still happen.
This is partly due to the large number of different tradespeople and specialists working at the same time in a confined space, each with different priorities, deadlines and standards to meet, such as bricklayers, joiners, plasterers etc. Add to that the fact that most of the work activities occurring on site are high risk and injuries are likely to occur.
When we receive an injury on the job it is often more of a shock than anything else and when we are caught by surprise it’s often hard to think of the correct or most logical thing to do to in that moment. That is why workers should be trained on emergency response procedures as well as injury procedures (what to do if they are injured or a co-worker is injured on site).
This post explains the steps workers should take when they receive an injury
Step 1 – Seek medical treatment
The most important thing to do if you have a work-related injury or illness is to seek appropriate medical treatment. Attempting to diagnose the problem yourself is not wise no matter how small it may seem. If you have a serious injury and continue working it could endanger your health even further. Sometimes the injury may seem minor but left untreated your condition can deteriorate into a major problem.
Step 2 – Inform your employer
Workers should report any work-related injuries or illnesses to their employer as soon as possible. If the employer is not notified in writing within 30 days of becoming aware of the injury, the injured worker may lose out on compensation.
The best way of ensuring injuries are recorded is to make a note of the injury in the Register of Injuries – each worksite should have this. If you are injured at the time and cannot get access to the register, submit a written account of your injuries to your employer as soon as possible.
Step 3 – Fill in and lodge a claim form
For Vic workers, you must lodge a WorkSafe approved claim form if you want to claim WorkSafeentitlements for a work-related injury or illness.
If you have a work-related injury you may be entitled to claim costs for medical expenses, weekly payments if you are not able to work and need an income to meet your financial needs as well as a lump sum payment if you have a permanent disability or impairment.
Step 4 – Return to work
Getting back to work after an injury or illness is just as important as the previous steps in your recovery. The interaction with other workers and returning to work (possibly to light duty if you are not quite 100% as yet) will aid in your recovery and allow you to actively participate in your own recovery process, which is vital to the healing process. A Return to Work Coordinatorcan assist an injured worker to remain at or return to work as soon as safely possible after injury. The return to work coordinator can plan the worker’s return to work if they require time away from work to recover and make decisions to progress their return. They will also monitor progress and consult with your health practitioner and occupational rehabilitation provider and monitor your healing and progress. They can also assist both you as the worker and your employer to meet obligations regarding the incident.