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Young and injured – what’s the next step?

By Melissa Babcock

When I was 15, I took the plunge. Tired of asking my parents for cash and anticipating a day not too far in the future when I would have a driver’s license and might want a car, I applied for my first job, at the local movie theatre. I spent the next few months slinging snacks for minimum wage – not the most glamorous gig and I could never quite wash the smell of popcorn out of my hair, but it was all worth it when I got my meager paycheck every week.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Would you like M & M’s with that?

Since I’ve been part of the Heads Up team, I’ve often thought about that first job. It was a long time ago, but I don’t remember safety procedures ever being talked about and the mostly teenaged staff certainly had no idea what to do if we ever got hurt at work. Once while making popcorn, I spilled leftover oil all over my hand. Luckily it wasn’t hot enough to do any serious damage, but it still smarted quite a bit and caused a minor burn. I was told to go run it under cold water before getting back to work. And I did. Because I didn’t know any better.

In a previous blog, Matt told us all what to do in the event of suffering an injury at work. But what comes after that? What is your responsibility as far as managing your claim and returning to work?

When you’re injured on the job, getting medical treatment and reporting your injury is just the beginning. Once your claim is accepted, you will be contacted by WCB, either by phone or email. As your claim progresses, you should keep in regular contact with your case manager, updating him or her on your medical treatment and how your healing is progressing. And if you are unable to work because of your injury, it is strongly recommended that you keep in touch with your employer as well. By staying connected and keeping your employer in the loop regarding your recovery, your return to work, whether on full or modified duties, will go that much smoother.

As much as we strive to promote safety and prevent injuries, sometimes, accidents happen. And when they do, it’s important to know what your responsibility is as far as your recovery and WCB claim go, so you can get back to work as quickly and as safely as possible.

You can find more information about managing injuries and return-to-work plans here.

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