Working is a fact of life. To provide a roof over your head, food on the table, clothes for your family and more, not working just isn’t an option for most of us. Did you know that 65 percent of a normal week is spent at work?
In the United States, worker is injured on the job every 7 seconds, according to the National Safety Council. That adds up to about 4.7 million workers injured annually.
Many people have questions about common injuries, what is and is not covered by workers’ compensation, and medical treatment.
Workplace Injuries Not Covered by Workers’ Comp
The top three workplace injuries that result in time off work are overexertion; slipping, tripping, or falling; and contact with objects or equipment, according to the National Safety Council. Other common workplace injuries result from motor vehicle accidents, repetitive motion injuries, and reaction injuries.
It’s important to know which injuries are covered by workers’ compensation in Oklahoma and which aren’t. Most injuries are covered except for the following:
- Injuries that happen when arriving at work or leaving from work and the employee is in a parking lot or area near the workplace.
- Injuries caused after using drugs or alcohol.
- Injuries caused by recreational or social activities the employee is doing for personal enjoyment.
- Injuries caused by preexisting conditions.
- Injuries that happen during a work break that isn’t authorized by a supervisor and occurs at the employer’s facility.
- Mental injuries not caused by physical injury to an employee.
On-the-job Injury Treatment
After experiencing an on-the-job injury, treatment is pivotal to getting back to normal. Below are common questions patients have about their medical treatment and workers compensation.
Q: Can I receive medical treatment while my case is ongoing?
A: Yes! Most injured employees think their medical case has to begin before they’re able to receive medical treatment, when in fact that isn’t the case.
Q: When should I notify my employer?
A: Immediately. After an individual is injured at work, the first step is to notify the employer, in writing if possible. In case of a lawsuit, it will be important to have proof that you notified your employer as quickly as possible. If an injury is life-threatening, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. If it’s not life-threatening, an individual should contact their employer first.
Q: Can I change doctor(s) after my case has begun?
A: Yes and no. The condensed version is that it depends if an individual’s employer has contracted with a certified workplace medical plan, commonly known as CWMP, or if they’re a qualified employer to where changes can be made.
If an employer has not contracted with a CWMP and the individual wishes to change doctors from the initial selection by the employer, the individual will send in an application to the Workers’ Compensation Commission for a one-time change. At that point the employer will provide three doctors for the individual to choose from.
If an employer has contracted with a CWMP and the individual wishes to change doctors from the initial selection by the employer, the individual will apply for the dispute resolution process that’s set out in the employers CWMP.
To find out if an employer falls under either of those categories, an employee should check with their manager or human resources department. manager or human resources department.
On-the-job injuries are a serious matter that shouldn’t be taken lightly. For those who have experienced overexertion, slipping, tripping, falling, contact with objects or equipment, motor vehicle accidents, or other instances, contact a qualified medical professional so you can be properly diagnosed and treated to and start you on the road to pain alleviation.