An employer can expect their employees to be productive and fulfill their duties, but, in return, they should fulfill their own responsibilities toward their employees. They should provide a safe and healthy workspace in which employees can perform at their best capacity. Unfortunately, maintaining workplace safety is not always possible. Accidents have a way of happening, regardless of whose fault it was. That being said, here are a few things you should know when one of your employees gets injured on the job.
As an employer, it’s your responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace for your employees and anyone visiting the premises. There are a series of standards provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to guide businesses in all fields towards the expected safety measures they should uphold on their business premises. Depending on your area of operation, you’re expected to enact safety policies for machinery operation, provide adequate training for your employees, and implement risk management protocols should an accident arise. It’s your job to alert new employees regarding the existing policies and ensure that they’re both aware and accepting of the policies.
In case an employee is injured at work, you should act quickly to treat the injury and minimize any possible complications. Here’s a list of the immediate steps you should take:
- Call for help immediately if the employee needs urgent medical attention. You can either call 911 or an ambulance to take the injured employee to the hospital.
- While waiting for help, contact your company’s physician to provide first-aid care to the injured employee.
- Notify the OSHA agency about the injury within a designated time window, depending on the severity of the injury. Employee deaths should be reported with 8 hours, while amputations, eye loss, and hospitalizations should be reported within 24 hours. You can either report the incident online or by calling their hotline.
- Remove other employees from the injury scene to prevent the onset of any more damage.
- Follow the damage management policies enacted in your emergency plan.
- Gather information about the accident by collecting evidence, inspecting the scene, and documenting the circumstances. Be sure to get visual footage in the form of pictures and videos, both of the accident scene and the employee’s injuries. Talk to other employees who had witnessed the accident and take their testimonials about what exactly happened.
- Review the situation and determine the cause of the accident, the fault, and liability.
While it’s your responsibility to provide a safe work environment for your employees, sometimes the damage can be the result of another party’s negligence. In places like Florida, where workplace accidents are especially on the rise, it’s important to seek the help of an experienced lawyer to guide you through the necessary measures. The experts at Zervos & Calta Personal Injury Lawyers, PLLC explain how employees across the state often need help with their personal injury claims. That’s especially necessary when insurance companies refuse to pay compensation for their injuries.
Unfortunately, you may be liable for the accident in case you failed to provide the needed safety measures. In these situations, having workers’ compensation insurance will protect you against lawsuits filed by your injured employee. In return, the workers’ comp will compensate the injured employee for the physical damage they’ve sustained, lost wages during their recuperation, and the cost of emotional damage they’ve gone through.
However, you’ll have to file a report to the insurance company as soon as possible to avoid complicating the claim. You’ll complete an Employer’s Report of the Accident Form, in which you’ll add all the evidence you’ve gathered and the incident’s details. Be sure to maintain open communication with your insurance company, lawyers, and doctors throughout the workers’ comp process.
While it’s a distressing situation for everyone, the only positive outcome from the accident is the experience you acquire. Now that you know what can go wrong, be sure to prevent similar future injuries by implementing stronger safety and health policies. Investigate the root of the accident, research the best security systems and protocols, and invest in educating your employees and providing them with adequate resources. Most of all, monitor your work processes and make sure your employees follow the implemented policies.
When it comes to workplace accidents, some injuries are more common than others. Slip and falls are the most common accidents, along with back or spine injuries resulting from improper lifting techniques and car accidents. However, whether it’s a commonly-occurring or a rare accident doesn’t matter. The fact that the employee got on the job remains, and it’s your responsibility to take the required action.