What university employees should do when hurt on the job in Georgia
The University of Georgia in Athens employs roughly 11,000 people as faculty members, administrative professionals and technical, clerical and maintenance staff members. The state capital of Atlanta is home to Georgia State University and Georgia Tech, both staple employers in the city.
Other collegiate institutions like Spelman College, Morris Brown, Clark Atlanta University and Morris Brown College employ approximately 3,000 employees, while Emory University (which also operates Emory University Hospital) employs more than 11,000. Across Georgia, colleges and universities are major employers in their communities.
Working at a university may seem like a relatively low-risk choice of employment. Nevertheless, workers who are employed by postsecondary schools can be injured on a college campus or while working within the scope of their job.
Continue reading to learn what you need to know if you’re injured while working on or for a college or university campus in Georgia.
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Common workplace injuries in college and university settings
The nature of injuries sustained while working at colleges and universities vary greatly depending on the nature of the worker’s job duties and setting.
Slip and falls are among the most common injuries across all categories as a worker may slip or trip and fall in virtually any setting. Office workers and administrative staff may experience wrist injuries due to repetitive motions required in typing and clerical jobs.
Maintenance and groundskeeper workers may be injured when working with heavy tools and equipment, falling off a ladder or becoming exposed to chemicals and building materials while cleaning or performing repairs.
Food prep and dining hall staff can suffer serious burns, as well as slip and fall injuries in kitchen and dining areas.
Campus police officers and security personnel who work for universities may be injured during a violent altercation with a student or outside visitor on campus. They may also sustain strains, sprains or broken bones while running, walking, stopping and climbing to investigate matters around the campus.
Employees in school libraries may also experience muscle strains and sprains while lifting and carrying books. Books that are improperly placed on a high shelf may place employees at risk of injuries if a book falls and strikes a library worker.
Our record of winning accident cases in Georgia speaks for itself:
What should workers do in the event of a workplace injury?
Employees of colleges and universities who are injured at work should immediately notify their employers. Most universities require you to complete a specific form and submit it to your supervisor. The employer typically requires supervisors to forward the form to the college or university within a specified period of time.
If you’re employed at a state college or university, your employer will report the injury to the Georgia Department of Administrative Services.
If your employer is a private college or university, they will report the injury to their insurance carrier. Then, they will contact you with the next steps to help you choose a physician and schedule follow-up appointments, if necessary. If the injury is an emergency, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Following examination by an approved physician, you will be required to obtain a doctor’s note detailing your work status in relation to the injury. If you’re required to miss time from work due to the injury, you may have to complete additional documents.
What benefits can injured university employees receive?
Georgia’s workers’ compensation benefits are categorized by the duration of the injury and the extent of disability. Workers who are able to return to work may be eligible for temporary partial disability (TPD) compensation if their injury causes them to earn less than they earned prior to the accident. Workers may receive TPD payments up to a maximum of 350 weeks.
If the injured employee is unable to work for a total of at least 7 days, he or she may receive temporary total disability (TTD) compensation, which pays up to two-thirds of the worker’s salary prior to the injury. Workers may receive a maximum of $675/week in TTD payments for up to 400 weeks total or until the worker achieves maximum medical improvement, a term that describes the full extent to which the injured party’s body is projected to be able to recover.
Similarly, an injured worker may receive permanent total disability (PTD) compensation if the injury causes permanent disability, but the worker is still able to return to work. Workers receive PTD after their doctor specifies he or she has completed the course of treatment for the patient in relation to the permanent workplace injury.
Workers’ compensation benefits do not always cover the worker’s household and medical expenses. Therefore, employees who are injured on the job should always contact a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney prior to being evaluated by your recommended physician and signing any paperwork.
How long do university employees have to file a workers’ comp claim?
Employees who wish to file a claim for workers’ compensation in Georgia must file within 1 year of the date of their workplace accident.
The deadline is extended if you receive medical treatment or if you’re able to work after the injury. A Georgia workers’ compensation attorney can help injured workers determine the exact deadline by which they are required to file a claim.
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