Report All Injuries to Occupational Medicine in a Timely Manner

Report All Injuries to Occupational Medicine in a Timely Manner

It's extremely important that all possible work-related injuries and illnesses be reported to Jefferson Lab Occupational Medicine as soon as they occur.  Reasons for the time-critical nature of reporting include:

  • Immediate reporting decreases the likelihood that the problem will worsen because reporting triggers many first aid and medical interventions such as:
    • Wound cleansing and dressing to prevent infection.  This is especially important in diabetics and individuals whose immune systems are compromised by health conditions, chemotherapy, or normal aging.
    • Tetanus vaccination.  (This also protects against diphtheria and pertussis [whooping cough].)
  • Many problems warrant work restrictions during the recovery period.  Such restrictions are a form of administrative safety control because they serve to protect the employee from additional injury, pain, slowed recovery, or risk to coworkers.  Safety controls at JLab are ingrained into our safety culture and must not be bypassed, even if the employee thinks they aren't "needed."
  • The Lab must correctly fulfill its obligation to the DOE to promptly report injuries.
  • Workers' compensation rights and responsibilities include prompt reporting.  Delayed reporting can adversely affect an individual's worker's compensation insurance claims evaluation.  

Possible injuries or illnesses related to work can be reported to Occupational Medicine through a variety of mechanisms including:

  • 911.  If an ambulance might be needed, call 911 directly.  This automatically alerts Occupational Medicine, too.
  • Physically visit the Occupational Medicine department located in room 22 in the Support Service Center (Bldg. 28).  In most cases, this is the wisest choice.
  • Call Occupational Medicine, 269-7539.
    • If an ambulance isn't needed, but transport to Occupational Medicine might be unsafe then our staff can come to the scene to assist the employee.
    • If the employee is confident that the problem is trivial and does not warrant in-person assistance, then the employee can make Occupational Medicine aware via:
    • The employee doesn't need to be certain there is a problem or certain about whether it is related to, or affected by, work.  Instead, an "If in doubt, call Occupational Medicine" approach should be followed.
  • After hours:
    • Call 911 if needed.
    • Report the problem to the supervisor and discuss how to obtain transport and assistance to Urgent Care or an Emergency Department.
      • Details are explained in the pamphlet, "If you have just been injured on the job..."  These pamphlets are located on or adjacent to all first aid boxes.

It's very important that Occupational Medicine be informed of after-hours problems as early as possible the next morning.  Therefore, as soon as possible after the injury, the supervisor should send an email to Occupational Medicine so it will know about the occurrence promptly when it reopens. The injured employee should also call Occupational Medicine directly if possible.  In addition, the supervisor should call.