There's Been a Construction Accident - What to do
In the immediate aftermath of a construction accident, it can be confusing as to what to do. The most common reflex is to ignore the pain or injury, treating it as a minor inconvenience.
This can have disastrous consequences though – not only for your own health, but also for your own financial position.
Whatever happens, the overriding principle at work is that if you’ve been Injured TELL SOMEONE. This is the single most important thing to do.
It sounds obvious – but it almost never happens.
3 Must-Do's After a Construction Accident
1. Get Medical Assistance
I’ve seen this too often. An injury occurs on a construction site. It seems minor, so you don’t report it or seek treatment for it. Several weeks later, the minor injury you suffered previously has either “flared up” or resulted in complications in a related part of your body.
The damage done by not telling others is not restricted to your health. By keeping an injury to yourself you damage your chances at being able to receive compensation for your injury. Once an injury has been sustained, unless an insurance company (or regulatory authority) can directly link your injury to the work you do, then you will not receive compensation.
Concerns over the “manliness” of seeking attention for an injury pale into insignificance when faced with the possibility of losing your livelihood. The responsible thing to do is to look after the wellbeing of yourself and your family by reporting an injury as soon as it happens, and seeking medical assistance if required.
It seems blindingly obvious to most of us, but for some it is not. Seek medical assistance. This goes beyond your ability to cope with an injury.
2. Tell Your Employer
Again, this has the potential to affect your ability to claim compensation for an injury suffered on a construction site.
By leaving any niggling injuries long enough, if they eventually become problematic there will be an insufficiently clear link between your injury and the work you do on a construction site.
It’s not as hard as it sounds. Often all that is involved is speaking to your employer who will then make a written record of the incident, in the event that it does become serious later on.
Should complications arise, you will be in a dramatically better position to have your compensation claim assessed favourably.
3. Will it Happen Again?
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. It’s the same principle on a construction site.
Almost every single construction site and company in the history of the planet will be involved in a construction accident at some point. Apart from taking steps to prevent it, the next best option is to look for ways to prevent it from happening again. Often insurance compensation will be tied to this taking place.
Do You Have Recourse to Compensation?
Unfortunately, the economics of the construction industry do not always permit a worker to avoid an area where the hazards are too serious, and the risks too great. Unskilled labourers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates have virtually no rights or recourse to compensation, compared to those in say, Brisbane, Australia. But by being able to identify the relevant risks and hazards on a building site, every worker at least has the power to prevent harm to themselves as much as is possible under their circumstance.
A common criticism of health and safety procedures is that common sense should be used. While it’s true that “anything is possible” it’s equally true that as a professional in the industry you have a finely honed sense of what is safe or unsafe: If it “looks wrong” then it probably is.
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