If you have a work-related injury, it may be the kind that grows over time due to your occupation, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Other injuries require immediate medical attention. In any case, there are workers’ compensation rules that you and your employer must follow. One of those concerns the doctor you see.
The company you work for should have established a protocol for dealing with work-related injuries. You will often find this laid out in an employee handbook. There should be rules to follow about who to notify in the case of an injured employee and how to treat or transport an employee who needs medical care. For example, if moving the injured party could jeopardize his or her health, the next step is to summon emergency personnel.
Investigation and meeting OSHA standards
Even though your work-related injury qualifies you to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, your employer will likely want to investigate the incident in which you were hurt and document it for your file. If the injury is serious, your employer must advise OSHA. If you become hospitalized, your employer must report to OSHA within 24 hours or face a possible citation.
In an emergency situation, you need immediate medical care and can see any doctor. However, workers’ compensation law requires your employer to maintain an approved list of six or more doctors. When the emergency is behind you, or if you need to see a physician for a non-emergency condition, you must select a name from this list. Once you meet this requirement, and with permission from your employer, you may substitute the doctor of your choice for another provider on the list.