Accidents do happen no matter when employers implement workplace safety precautions and measures or how careful a worker is. However, the way employers respond to a workplace accident is extremely crucial. In case of an injury, there are certain protocols a manager must follow to properly handle a work-related injury or accident.
- Seek Medical Attention – Seeking medical attention is the first crucial step to take when someone is injured in the workplace. Some would immediately think about the financial repercussions that come with a work-related injury, but you need to prioritize the condition of your injured worker. Failure to provide immediate medical attention could result in severe penalties and legal ramifications.
In case of a serious injury, call 911 immediately. Even if the injured worker does not require emergency attention, encourage them to seek medical care as soon as possible.
- Secure the Scene – It is important to secure the site of the serious accident as quickly as possible for investigative purposes. Limit access to the site and secure equipment or materials involved in the incident to prevent the likelihood of secondary accidents.
- File a Report – As soon as the injured worker receives appropriate medical attention and treatment, think of your obligations and protocol as an employer. An injured employee has the right to file for compensation, make sure to provide them with a claim form when they request one. Report the injury to their compensation insurance company if they want to pursue a claim. Provide the injured employee with an initial incident report. The incident report should be completed and filed within 24 hours of the incident. Use the OSHA form 300 when preparing and maintaining work-related injuries and illness records.
Also, it is every employer’s responsibility to file a First Report of Injury or Illness when an accident in the workplace occurs. Make sure to keep a record of all information related to the incident that you can use in a future lawsuit. Speak to those who witnessed the incident, take down notes of your own thoughts, record important statements, and take pictures of the scene.
- Cooperate with Worker’s Compensation – Cooperate with your employee’s lawyer and compensation carrier, should they choose to pursue a claim. Provide them with all the necessary documents and files on the employee. However, be wary whom you give this information. If another lawyer contacts you, claiming to represent your injured employee, call the workers’ compensation carrier immediate for further clarification.
- Prevent Future Work-Related Accidents – It is every employer’s responsibility to provide their employees with a safe working environment. Having a safety inspection workers from potentially serious accidents during working hours. Learn from your past experiences and use them to develop ideas for reducing risks and getting rid of shortcomings. You do not only safeguard your employees’ health and wellbeing but your business as well.
While it is impossible to prevent accidents from occurring in the workplace, employees must make safety a priority. However, there are certain things you can do to reduce the risks, such as establishing strict protocols. Keep in mind that a good employer always thinks about the safety and health of their staff.