Workplace safety

Each employer has a duty to provide a workplace that is free of known dangers that may harm employees. Like all workers, you have the right to working condi­tions that are free of known health and safety hazards.

Since accidents and injuries often occur unexpect­edly, the list below provides a series of actions to consider if you are harmed on the job, including seeking medical care, contacting the police and injury assis­tance. Amidst what may be chaos and confu­sion, it is essen­tial to care for the caregiver!

Obtain first aid.
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Immediately report the injury to your supervisor and get relieved of duties, if necessary. #

  • Submit an employee injury/​accident report with the facts of the event.
  • Seek immediate support resources for stress debriefing and posttrau­matic counseling services, as needed. Consider accessing employee assis­tance program resources.

Submit an incident/​occurrence report. #

  • Describe what happened, provide event facts, consider a timeline, identify those involved.
  • Report all incidents and threats of workplace violence and share with coworkers at safety huddle; discuss ways to prevent similar events in the future.

Seek medical attention. #

  • Go to the emergency room or health‑care provider of your choice.
  • Inform the provider the injury is work-related and provide details of the injury.
  • If you provide a written injury state­ment to the provider, retain a copy for your file.
  • Request medical direc­tions in writing and follow all medical directions.
  • Obtain assis­tance from the provider to file a workers’ compen­sa­tion claim. (The claim will go through a review process for approval. If the claim is approved, Labor & Indus­tries or your self-insured employer will cover approved medical bills directly related to your injury.)
  • If care is needed beyond the first visit, ensure that the provider you are seeing is approved for future visits.

Keep a personal log of events. #

  • Track missed days of work, travel, out-of-pocket expenses, and daily details of your injury and circumstances.

Contact your union representative.
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File a police report promptly. #

  • If you are a victim of work place violence (or another crime), you have the right to file a police report. (Your organi­za­tion will not do this for you.)
  • Both HIPAA and Washington state law allow the disclo­sure of Protected Health Infor­ma­tion (PHI) to a law enforce­ment official that the covered entity believes in good faith consti­tutes evidence of criminal conduct that occurred on the premises of the hospital. 45 CFR 164.512(f)(5); RCW 70.02.200 (1)(g).
  • Write down details of the event to create a report that is clear, accurate, factual and thorough. File the police report in person or by telephone (avoid electronic filing).
  • A law enforce­ment officer will inves­ti­gate and collect evidence about the reported event and will meet with you in person to finalize the report. Cooperate with law enforce­ment and provide evidence.
  • The police report is provided to the Prose­cuting Attorney’s office, where a deter­mi­na­tion is made on how to proceed. The prose­cuting attorney decides if there is suffi­cient evidence to prose­cute a crime.
  • Retain your case number to follow-up on the inves­ti­ga­tion and to obtain a copy of the report.

Seek Workers’ Compensation. #

  • Discuss missed work with your employer/​Workers’ Compen­sa­tion Representative.
  • Expect that the three consec­u­tive days of work immedi­ately following your injury will be consid­ered a waiting period. L&I or your self-insured employer typically won’t pay for these days, if they are the only ones you miss.
  • Refer to the Washington State Depart­ment of Labor & Indus­tries (lni​.wa​.gov) for additional infor­ma­tion on time-loss and wage replacement.