After hitting your head at work, you may have told everyone in the office that you were fine. After all, it’s embarrassing to receive so much attention, and you didn’t want your employer sending you home. But a few days later, you’re wondering if you should get the bump on your head checked out—and what your employer will say if you need to take time off.
Employees shouldn’t have to worry about retribution or discrimination because they suffered a work-related injury. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), employers are required to report serious injuries in order to protect the employee and safeguard co-workers from suffering similar accidents.
Head injuries can have a number of serious side effects, so it is vital that your employer report any accidents that result in:
- Days away from work. A head injury that causes an employee to miss one or more days of work—not counting the day the injury began—must be reported.
- Medical treatment beyond first aid. If your injury required medical treatment other than bandages, topical treatment and over-the-counter medication, your employer is responsible for reporting the injury.
- Loss of consciousness. Any head injury at work that results in a loss of consciousness must be reported to OHSA, no matter how long the employee was unconscious.
- Restricted work activity or job transfer. OSHA must be notified if an injury has restricted the employee from performing routine functions of his or her job, from working a full regular shift, or if a licensed health care professional has recommended either of these restrictions.
- Death. All work-related deaths must be reported to OSHA within eight hours of the time of death.
In addition to these conditions, employers are required to notify OSHA of any significant injuries that have been diagnosed by a physician, any accident involving a bone fracture, and any injury that results in a punctured eardrum.
It is worth noting that some employers will neglect to file an injury report with OSHA to keep their injury costs down or to keep investigators from inspecting the safety of their workplaces. To find out how injured workers can file a complaint with OSHA for an unsafe working environment, click the link on this page to order our free report, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers Comp Guide.