What to do in the case of a workplace injury
Most workplace injuries occur either as a result of an accident or through an assault. There are similar steps that should be followed in either case.
First, the person injured needs to get medical attention.
As soon as possible the steward and building principal should be made aware of the incident. The administration has a packet for such incidents that include paperwork to be filled out. This can done online through this link to the district (LINK)
Incident report – this report is an accounting by the injured person of what happened. It should be written with detail as soon as the injured person is able to make an account. List any possible witnesses to the incident. Keep a copy (whether electronic or paper)
Medical Release – the District may require a form to be signed allowing them to consult with the doctors treating the injury.
First Report of Injury – this document is for eligibility to Workers Compensation. The paperwork may be done on paper or online (https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/bwcCommon/forms/froi/) Getting Workers Compensation protects the injured if within 5 years there is medical need related to the incident, even if separated from District employment. It makes the most sense to use the same wording as you did in the incident report so these two documents correspond exactly.
The important thing to look for is the identification number given by the Bureau of Workers Compensation. Although transparent to the member, when a medical provider finds out that the injury is due to a work related incident the whole thing gets billed and coded differently. This number will be used instead of your medical mutual card and will need to be shared with ALL providers used to treat this injury (including physical therapy, if needed).
Assault – An assault is when a student’s reckless intentional behavior causes injury. For example, helping to break up a fight and getting hit, even if the student was not aiming for the teacher. Legally, it is not called an assault, but for the purposes of assault leave for our contract it is. A student running down the hallway who runs into a teacher is reckless, but not intentional, so would be considered an accident.
If the injury is a result of being assaulted by a student then a standard referral form should also be submitted to administration. Days used as a result of an assault for medical treatment can be reimbursed to the injured person’s sick leave account using a form in our contract. Contact our Union office through the building steward to help out.
Appeals – There have been times when the District contested Worker’s Compensation claims by a member. Members are free to use their own lawyer in these cases, but in most cases our Union President has provided the defense (and prevailed most every time). Luckily, there have been few such cases in recent years.