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Colorado employers have 24 hours to report workplace injuries

When a workplace accident injures an employee, the employer's first priority is to help the person. In an emergency, this means calling 911. Less extreme injuries allow for the person to be transported to a clinic or hospital by the employer, supervisor or co-workers. Additionally, a dangerous accident scene, such as a chemical spill or collapsing structure, should be secured to protect other people. Closing off the site also supports the efforts of investigators to determine the cause of the accident.

Once treatment has been arranged for the worker, an employer has 24 hours to meet reporting obligations mandated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. OSHA form 300 needs to be filled out to report worker injuries and illnesses. An employer's workers' compensation insurance company might be able to help a company file the required incident report.

An application for a claim upon the insurance carrier for worker benefits must also be opened at this time. Compensation for medical bills and coverage of lost income might need to continue for weeks or months, depending on the injury and the physical demands of the injured employee's job.

An injured employee might not immediately know if an employer has reported the injury to OSHA or opened an insurance claim. To claim workers' compensation benefits, an employee must make sure to inform the employer of the workplace injury. An employee could choose to work with an attorney when filing for workers' compensation benefits. An attorney could help the worker make sure paperwork is completed correctly. This assistance might help a worker avoid delays and denials from the insurance company. Negotiations for a settlement could also be supported by an attorney, who could advocate for worker's right to collect benefits.

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