As an employer, you are responsible for the safety of everyone that works at your company. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), sets the standards that you are expected to follow to ensure your business is a safe environment. No matter what type of business you have, there’s always the possibility that someone can get hurt, and although you can’t prevent all incidents and injuries from happening, you can control how they are handled. Here are seven crucial things to do if an employee is injured on the job.
Make sure to keep all first-aid kits stocked and easily accessible. A quick response will help reduce the severity of a workplace injury, and having a risk and response plan will help ensure all employees know what to do. Training employees and supervisors on safety and emergency response plans, and assigning a safety officer for particularly dangerous jobs, will aid in protecting employees from possible workplace accidents.
As soon as an accident or injury occurs, move any injured workers out of danger’s way and make sure other employees stay clear. Assess the situation to see what caused the accident to ensure that no one else is in danger. Retrieve the first aid kit and have it on hand while you assess the injury mark sure to keep the victim calm and to use gloves when handling blood.
Get Medical Help
For minor cuts, scrapes, and burns, first aid might be all that’s required, but for major injuries, be sure to stabilize the employee and call 911. Failing to seek medical assistance for an injured employee could easily result in a costly lawsuit. If the injury doesn’t require emergency attention, make sure the employee is supported and encourage them to get medical care if anything changes.
Gather the Facts
Even if the employee says they are fine, the injury needs to be documented. Write down the relevant details and gather witness testimonies while the incident is still clear in your mind. Take pictures of the scene, review video footage, and keep any equipment or other evidence of the accident secured in order to clarify any disputes. Ask the victim to write a statement about the incident in case symptoms from the injury show up later on down the road.
It is required by law to report immediately (by telephone) any serious injury, illness, or death of an employee occurring in a workplace or while on the job, to the nearest Department of Occupational Safety and Health district office. Injuries or illnesses that are not considered serious, no matter how small, must be documented in the Cal/OSHA Log 300.
Injured employees have a right to file a claim if they are injured on the job, and it’s your responsibility to provide them with a claim form. You will also need to report the injury to the workers’ compensation insurance company and complete the Employer’s Report of Accident form to describe your view of the incident and document the gathered facts. Once you’ve finished and signed the employer section of the claim form, give it to a claims administrator who will handle the further details of workers’ compensation. It’s a good idea to maintain open communication between the injured employee, the doctor, the claims adjustor, and the insurance agent to stay informed and to help speed up the claims process.
Check with Other Workers
When people see or hear about one of their coworkers getting hurt on the job, they will be concerned. You are not allowed to share medical information about the employee with their coworkers, but you can take the time to listen. Good communication can help answer questions, relieve anxiety, and can lead to suggestions about how to make things better. It also gives you the opportunity for you to make sure everyone understands the company’s concern and commitment to the well-being of all employees.
Prevent Future Issues
The only good thing that can come from an accident is knowledge from that experience that will help prevent future injuries from happening. Assess the accident and develop ideas for reducing risks to help protect your employees and your business. Invest in education, training, provide adequate resources, and regularly inspect and monitor all areas to ensure everything is in working order.
In conclusion, owning a business comes with several important responsibilities, but employee safety and health must be a priority. Injuries are bound to happen, but it’s how you respond that will dictate the outcome. Having a risk and response plan in effect will save valuable time at crucial moments and ensure the best outcome to a bad situation.