If you sustain a seemingly minor injury at work, you may react by brushing it off and putting it out of your mind. This is actually a fairly common reaction, with many individuals neglecting to report workplace injuries. In 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 2.8 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses took place in private industry.
However, a survey from the Committee of Education and Labor found that the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses fails to reflect approximately 69% of such incidents, so the real number is actually considerably higher. It is important to report even the smallest of injuries incurred at your job because not doing so may lead to unintended consequences.
1. Your injury may be more severe than you initially thought
Even wounds that do not appear to be immediately serious may become worse if not treated in a proper and timely fashion. For instance, scrapes and cuts may become infected, resulting in long-term repercussions such as missing work. An injury that does not display visible signs of a critical condition may still be dangerous. Only a trained medical professional is capable of accurately determining the actual severity of one.
2. There is a deadline you have to file by
You may not wait three weeks to develop more severe symptoms and then report your injury. Colorado law requires you to tell your employer about it in writing within four working days of when you suffered it.
3. Reporting your injury creates documentation
Proper documentation helps ensure you receive your benefits. Not having it may lead to the insurer denying your claim.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim involves many elements. Reporting even the smallest of wounds immediately may ease the process and prevent rejection by an insurance adjuster.