Safe working conditions are a major priority for IAD2. You have a right to go to work in the morning and return in the same shape you left. IAD2 members are faced with more different and severe hazards than almost any other worker: chemicals, back injuries, workplace violence, confined spaces, speeding traffic, trench collapses, machinery hazards, infectious diseases and a variety of other workplace hazards kill, injure, sicken and maim thousands of members every year. And many IAD2 members face these hazards doing jobs that most Americans don't even want to think about.
What every worker should know about worker's compensation. If you get hurt on the job, your employer is required by law to provide worker's compensation benefits.
If you get hurt on the job, your employer is required by law to provide workers' compensation benefits. You could get hurt by:
One event at work. Examples: hurting your back in a fall, getting burned by chemicals that splash on your skin, getting hurt in a car accident while making deliveries, or
Repeated exposures at work. Examples: hurting your wrist from doing the same motion over and over, losing your hearing because of constant loud noises.
They can include:
It depends. If you want to choose the doctor who will treat you for a job injury or illness, you must tell your employer the name and address of your personal physician before you are injured. You must do it in writing. This is called predesignating your personal physician.
If you predesignate: You will be allowed to see your personal physician right after you are injured. You may switch doctors later, if necessary.
If you don't predesignate: Your employer usually will have the right to choose the doctor who treats you during the first 30 days after your employer learns about your injury or illness.
You can predesignate a doctor of medicine (M.D.) or doctor of osteopathy (D.O.) who treated you in the past and has your medical records. Or you can predesignate the office, clinic, or hospital where the doctor treated you. (If you give your employer the name or your personal chiropractor in writing before you are injured, you may switch to this chiropractor upon request during the first 30 days.)
Notify your employer in writing. (Your employer may give you a form to use.) Make sure to include the following information:
Exceptions: Some employers have contracts with state-certified health care organizations (HCOs) to treat workers hurt on the job. If your employer has this kind of contract, there are different rules on choosing medical care. Your employer must give you written information about those rules.
Your treating doctor will:
Decide what type of medical care you'll get.
Help identify the kinds of work you can do safely while recovering.
Determine when you can return to work.
Write medical reports that will affect the benefits you receive.
Report the injury to your employer
Tell your supervisor right away. If your injury or illness developed gradually (like tendonitis or hearing loss), report it as soon as you learn it was caused by your job. Reporting promptly helps prevent problems and delays in receiving your benefits, including necessary medical care.
Report the injury to your union
Get emergency treatment if needed
If it's a medical emergency, go to an emergency room right away. Your employer may tell you where to go for treatment. Tell the health care provider who treats you that your injury or illness is job-related.
It's best to prevent injuries before they happen. Employers are required to have an Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Learn about and participate in your employer's program. Report unsafe conditions to your employer and union. Or call Cal/OSHA, the state agency that enforces health and safety law.
Talk to a supervisor or manager at work. Your employer is required to post information about workers' compensation and give you written materials.
Talk to your union rep, if you have one.
Contact a state Information & Assistance officer. I & A officers answer questions about workers' compensation. Call toll-free @ (800) 736-7401. For a local office, check the Government Pages of your phone book.
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