While injuries in most workplaces are rare, any business can have an employee get injured. Making sure you are prepared for an employee’s injury is key to ensuring your worker’s compensation covers what you need it to cover.
According to recent statistics from the U.S Bureau of Labor, workplace injuries in Nevada continue to outpace the national average. With construction booming in the state, many workers attribute the prevalence of workplace injury to Nevada OSHA’s failure to enforce safety standards.
This is why Nevada law requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance to help injured workers and their families maintain an adequate standard of living despite the disability or death of the worker as quoted from this Las Vegas workers’ comp law firm site.
Here is what to do if you have an employee injured on the job.
It is vital to understand what action to take and have the appropriate tools for when an employee is injured. A fully stocked first aid kit should be easily accessible, and your employees should know where it is. You should also go over emergency processes so that if external medical help is needed, it can get to the injured employee promptly.
Reviewing your worker’s compensation process is also a very important step. Understanding what happens to an employee when they are injured on the job, what their rights are, and what your rights as an employer are is vital to ensuring you both get what you need from the worker’s comp program.
You should also ensure that your employees know what to do and what not to do when an injury occurs. Valuable time can be wasted as employees figure out the next steps. Minor injuries can take on a life of their own if your employees do not act, respond slowly or take actions that make the injury worse.
When an injury occurs, your only immediate goal is to assess the injury and the need of your employee to receive medical help. If their injury is beyond the scope of your first aid kit, seek medical attention immediately. When you are not sure, err on the side of caution.
A quick response will not only speak well of you as an employer, but it also might be extremely valuable to your employee. Ignoring certain symptoms or brushing them off as not serious, for example, could further injure your employee. In some cases, delaying getting help or writing off their injury as not serious could even kill them.
Take every report of an injury seriously. Do not assume the employee is not as injured as they make out. Insist they get medical attention for all but the most minor injuries. When an injury happens, focus on the employee, even if the business suffers. You can always recoup business. It’s much more difficult to regain your employees’ trust.
After the employee has received treatment, start the investigation process. Ask for eyewitnesses and interview anyone in proximity to the injury. Collect as much information as possible, as it will be helpful when you are reporting the injury.
Document the following:
- Who was injured, including their contact information
- How the injury occurred and what caused the injury
- What, if any, safety precautions got followed or ignored
- The treatment process, including even minor responses like putting a band-aid on a cut
- Witness accounts and information
The more of this type of information you can collect, the better off you will be when filing the claim.
Your goal should be to report the injury to your insurance carrier within 24 hours. Make it a priority for the rest of your day once your employee receives the proper medical care. Do not delay reporting the injury, as a delay can mean your employee’s coverage gets delayed. Use the reporting process to ask your claims representative any questions.
Responding to an employee’s injury is common sense, and responding promptly ensures that your employee gets help quickly. Make sure you document every aspect of the injury. The more you are prepared and the quicker you respond, the better off you and your employee will be when a claim is filed.