No matter how careful your employees are, accidents can happen at work. Some common causes of workplace accidents include unmaintained machines, getting struck by falling objects, getting caught in machinery, and falling from a height. If an accident does occur, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of your employees and prevent any further injuries. Here are six steps you must take:
1. Stop Work and Call 911
If an accident occurs, it is crucial to temporarily stop your operations and call 911. If someone on site has a certification for first aid, have them see your injured employee until the ambulance arrives. You must also ensure that none of your other employees are hurt and that the area is secured to avoid further accidents. For example, if your employee was injured by a falling object, remove any other objects that could fall and hurt someone else. This is why it’s important to have a clear plan for what to do in the event of an accident so that everyone knows their role and can act quickly.
2. Document the Accident Scene
One of the most important things to do after an accident is document the scene. This will help you piece together what happened and could be used as evidence in the event of a legal dispute. Make sure to take pictures and video of the scene, as well as of the injured employee. If other employees witnessed the accident, ask if they can provide statements if needed. All this information will help determine what caused the accident and how to prevent it from happening again.
3. Notify Your Lawyer and Insurance Company
After your employee is taken to the hospital, you should notify your company lawyer and the insurance company. They will be able to help you determine what steps to take next and may provide guidance on how to proceed with the accident investigation. It is important to remember that you should not discuss the accident with anyone other than your lawyer and insurance company, as you could inadvertently harm your case. You may also want to consult a lawyer to get advice on your workers’ compensation rights.
4. Get Medical Help for Your Employee
You wouldn’t want your employee’s condition to worsen or let them feel like their case is not among your priorities. Hence, ensuring they receive all the medical treatments they need to recover is important. For example, their doctor referred them to get imaging to better diagnose your employee’s condition. In that case, you can help your employee find an MRI center that can provide them with the information they need for their doctor to create a treatment plan. Actively seeing your employee’s medical care after their accident at work will help them recover and let them know that you are invested in their well-being.
5. Keep Track of Expenses and Lost Wages
If an employee is injured in a workplace accident, it can cause considerable financial losses for the business. This is why it is important to keep track of all the expenses and lost wages incurred due to the accident. This includes all medical costs related to the injury, including doctor visits, medication, and rehabilitation.
You should also track any time the employee has to take off from work and their reduced wages if they can return to work but at a reduced capacity. It is also essential to keep a record of your communication with your lawyer and the insurance company. Keeping track of all this information will help you stay on top of the situation and make informed decisions for your business. It will also ensure you’re taking the appropriate steps to help your employee recover and your business remain operational.
6. Prepare for a Possible Hearing or Lawsuit
If your employee is injured in a workplace accident, there is a chance they could file a lawsuit. This will depend on how the accident occurred, the severity of their injury, and whether they believe someone was at fault. You may also want to prepare for a possible hearing. This is why it is important to have evidence to support your case, such as witness statements, medical records, and photos or videos of the accident scene. If you are prepared with the proper documentation, you will be better equipped to deal with the situation.
Workplace accidents can be traumatic and costly for businesses. It is essential to take the necessary steps to improve workplace safety to ensure that such accidents never happen again in your business. Doing so can help you ensure that your employees are safe while they are at work.