What To Do When An Employee Gets Injured
Dan Levenson June 30, 2020
One of the worst moments for any employer occurs when an employee is injured on the job. Unfortunately, if you hire enough employees the likelihood of an injury or illness occurring increases dramatically. It can be a stressful thing for an employer to consider but every business should be prepared for an on-the job injury or illness. We are here to break down what to do when an employee gets injured.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin
Like most things in the American business world, safety is regulated by several different authorities, organizations, and laws. You should follow the regulations applicable to your industry, such as the OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards. Visit their website to see how the administration works and for local offices.
In addition to setting safety standards, one of the most important ways to prepare for an on the-job injury is having a Workers’ Compensation insurance plan in place.
Workers’ compensation is insurance that directly deals with workplace injuries and illnesses. It is regulated by state law and most companies are required to have an active policy. You will want to check your state’s department of labor and the department of insurance for the laws and statutes that may apply to your business. Other laws to be aware of are the Family Medical Leave Act, also known as FMLA and Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, also known as ADAAA.
After understanding what is required of you by law as an employer, it’s time to prepare yourself and your employees for the unfortunate day when a coworker is injured on the job.
Start today and come up with a risk prevention plan to minimize workplace accidents. Implement education and training so you and your employees know what to do when the time comes. When your team works together and knows what to do the chance for serious injury or death is greatly minimized.
Here are some steps to take in your workplace injury prevention preparation:
- Safety and Wellness Plans- the first step to preparing is having an effective accident prevention program in place.
- Risk and Response training- create response instructions for different types of incidents and train your employees for them.
- Emergency response training- train and maintain first response medical care and supplies
- First Aid Supplies stocked and accessible- keep a fully stocked first aid kit and keep it where everyone can see it and knows where it is.
- List of emergency contacts
- Enlist a safety officer for dangerous jobs.
- CPR Training
- Screen potential employees- making sure that their position placement is equal to their qualifications and physical performance.
- Provide protection equipment when necessary.
- Create and implement incident reports in advance so when an incident happens it is even easier for you and your employees to communicate with caregivers and claims adjusters.
With these steps in place, accidents should be rare and, when they do occur, you and your team will be ready to respond immediately.
How should you respond to a workplace injury?
- Once something happens, clear the area and help any injured people. Help by calling 911 or helping them to the hospital. First aid kits and supplies can be used for minor injuries.
- The area where the incident happened should remain secure from anyone else entering. This is for everyone’s safety and allows the scene to be investigated later.
- Record the details of the accident and get witness testimony while it’s fresh in their minds; this will help later filing the paperwork and making any reports.
- Check with OSHA and other applicable safety organizations. You may need to report the injury to them as well.
- File a workers’ compensation claim and complete the proper paperwork. After the employee is out of danger and receiving treatment, it’s time to contact the insurance carrier and file a claim. Submit any paperwork, pictures, testimony, anything you have relating to the incident to the insurance carrier.
Your worker’s compensation policy provides several coverages in case of an accident. It provides medical payments for the injured employee and can protect the employer from lawsuits. If an injured employee goes to a hospital, they should tell the doctors and nurses that this was a work-related injury. Care providers have certain procedures in place when they know that it is a workplace injury and workers’ compensation coverage will be involved. Maintain open communication with employees, claims adjusters, and insurance agents to allow for funds and treatment ease. In some cases, with a serious injury, the employer must notify OSHA.
Consider a return-to-work program to help aid a returning employee from injury or illness. It can be difficult to return from a prolonged absence. Having a plan in place to ease employees back into their job duties will keep them off long-term disability and will make it easier for the employer.
It is never easy dealing with workplace accidents and employees’ accidents are going to happen. With a plan, the proper insurance, and clear communication, you can prevail through the difficult time of dealing with a workplace injury.