Many workers are anxious about injuries incurred on the job. They may not want their employer to blame them for a drop in productivity. Oftentimes, workers assume that they can power through the end of their shift and then maybe see a doctor later. But, it’s generally a better idea to report the injury and to seek medical attention right away.
There are numerous rules in place for workers’ compensation claims in Iowa. One of the most basic requirements for a worker is the obligation to report the matter to their employer. How should a worker communicate with their employer about a recent work injury?
Prompt communication is crucial
Particularly in scenarios where workers have seemingly minor injuries, they may delay communicating with their employer. Doing so puts them at risk of losing their eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. In most scenarios, employees need to notify their employer as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Iowa requires that someone notify their employer within 90 days of the injury or risk being ineligible for benefits.
Employers also have certain reporting requirements that they will need to fulfill, particularly when a worker must miss part of a shift or requires hospitalization. Ideally, workers will tell their employer about an injury as soon as they get hurt so that there aren’t any questions about the origin of their injury. That way, they can potentially take the remainder of their shift off and prompt medical evaluation and treatments.
Talking with a direct supervisor is often a good starting point, but workers will need to ensure that they abide by the company’s reporting rules. They may need to provide formal written notice to management or human resources in addition to verbally notifying their immediate supervisor. Proper medical documentation may be necessary in cases where workers need to arrange a leave of absence or require accommodations to return to work.
Knowing how to handle the reporting process can make a major difference for those injured on the job who are likely in need of Iowa workers’ compensation benefits. Seeking legal guidance is always an option for those who have questions and/or need additional support in this regard.