What to Do After a Workplace Injury

What to Do After a Workplace Injury: A Guide for Employers

Over 5,300 American employees died from work-related injuries during the span of a single year. In nonfatal instances, there were 2.8 cases for every 100 workers. 

Do you know what to do as an employer after someone sustains a workplace injury? It’s important to plan ahead of time. Otherwise, you might not realize you need a workplace injury lawyer until it’s too late. 

You might have a serious lawsuit on your hands. Without a plan and an experienced lawyer, you might hurt your case.

Here are the eight steps you should take if an employee is injured at work. With these tips, you can control how the situation is handled. Ensure your business is a safe environment for your employees with these tips today.

1. Prepare Beforehand

You never know when or how someone might sustain a workplace injury. While you can’t avoid every accident, you can prepare for them.

First, make sure every employee knows where your first-aid kits are stocked. Make sure these kits are easily accessible, too. 

Establish a risk and response plan for your entire team. It’s important to make sure each supervisor and their team members are prepared. Otherwise, your employees might not respond quickly enough after an accident. 

Training your team could protect them from potential accidents in the future.  

It can help to prepare your business for employee injuries as well.

First, do everything you can to prevent workplace injuries before they occur. Look for ways to ensure your work environment is safe for your team.

Many states require businesses to get workers’ compensation. Without worker’s compensation, you might have to pay out of pocket if someone is injured at work. They might hold you liable in court as well. 

You can look into workman’s comp insurance here.

Have your procedures and policy in place before you hire employees.

You can also prepare your business by having an investigation checklist. You’ll need specific forms on hand, including:

  • Your company’s light duty policy
  • Each employee’s job descriptions
  • Medical treatment consent forms
  • Return-to-work release forms (for a physician to complete)

The light duty policy is a plan for how you plan on managing employee injuries that limit the employee’s work abilities. You should try to accommodate these employees by giving them light work to complete as they recover. Accommodating these employees will ensure you maintain an employer/employee relationship with them. 

2. Respond Quickly

What happens if an employee is injured at work? First, make sure to respond quickly. Move the injured employee away from danger.

Take the time to assess the scene. What caused the accident? Pinpointing the cause can help you avoid getting hurt yourself. 

Ensure any other employees who are on-site are safe as well.

Grab the first aid kit as quickly as possible. Don’t handle an injury without wearing gloves first. Follow the protocols you established for the team. 

3. Ensure Your Employee Receives Medical Care

Over 2.5 million workers sustained work-related injuries that required emergency room visits in a single year. If someone on your team sustained a workplace injury, make sure they receive medical care right away. 

If you’re not there when the accident occurs, it’s still important for your employee to seek help. Tell your employees they’re responsible for notifying you of any injuries. They should either report to their supervisors, the HR department, or you directly.

Once they receive medical care, make sure to follow up. Let your employees know you have their best interests at heart.

4. Investigate What Happened

While your employee receives medical attention, try to investigate what happened. Investigating the accident can help you avoid employee injuries in the future. 

First, try to get written accounts from anyone who witnessed the accident occur. It’s possible different employees noticed different details. Talk to as many people as possible.

Take photos of the scene as well. If you know what caused the accident, direct your camera that way. For example, faulty equipment, an exposed wire, or wet floors could cause an accident. 

Even if no one was injured, it’s important to complete a full investigation.

Show your employees you take their safety seriously. Document any actions you take to fix these unsafe conditions. 

5. File a Report

Companies are required by law to remote any illnesses, deaths, or injuries that occurred on the job. Contact your local Department of Occupational Safety and Health office to report what happened. Even if it’s not serious, document the incident in the Cal/OSHA Log 300.

An employee who sustained a workplace injury has the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. It’s your responsibility to provide the form they need.

You can also report the injury to the workers’ compensation insurance office. Complete the Employer’s Report of Accident form as well. Note any of the evidence or facts you gathered during your investigation. 

The claims administrator who receives your form will handle any other details involving the workers’ compensation case. In the meantime, keep in contact with the claims adjuster, insurance agent, injured employee, and their physician. 

6. Speak With Other Employees

Your other employees might not feel as safe as they used to after a colleague was injured at work. Talk to them about what happened. While you can’t share private medical information, you can listen to their concerns.

Remain open and keep communicating with your team. Listen to any suggestions they have about avoiding accidents down the road. 

7. Prevent Future Issues

Take the suggestions you received into account as you make changes to your workspace. Look for ways to reduce risks for your employees. You can also invest in training, regular inspections, and education for your team. 

8. Hire a Lawyer

If your employee decides to file a lawsuit, make sure to hire an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer right away. They can lead you through the process to ensure you protect your business. Otherwise, you might have to pay out of pocket to cover damages. 

Prepare Yourself: 8 Steps to Take After an Employee Sustains a Workplace Injury

Don’t let one workplace injury impact the future of your business. Instead, develop a plan and stick with it. By following these eight steps, you can protect your business and your employees.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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