In 2021, more than 4,260,000 injuries were reported and took place in the workplace. The ones that weren’t reported were not less severe, but it shows that some people who were dealing with these injuries didn’t understand the steps to take to report them accordingly.
Reporting an accident in the workplace is vital, especially when it involves workplace negligence and an employee will miss work for medical reasons. This step-by-step guide will outline how to deal with these issues in the most professional manner possible.
Provide Care to the Injured Person
The first step in handling a workplace injury is to ensure the person that has been injured is given the care they need. Depending on the injury they’ve sustained, time is of the essence, and the response time provided could be the difference in having a permanent disability.
You can check the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website for the protocol that businesses need to follow when responding to accidents that have occurred in the workplace. Each company should have a response plan they use when these things happen.
Also, each person working within that business should have been briefed on the actions they need to take if they’re the first to respond to the accident scene. Once you respond, someone needs to call the emergency responders to come and take over, providing aid to the injured person.
Survey the Accident Scene
After the person has been tended to, the next step is securing the accident scene. The last thing that should happen is for someone else to have the same accident because the scene wasn’t taken care of appropriately.
The best way to secure the scene is to tape it off with caution tape, letting other people not to approach the area. From there, a team needs to be deployed to clean up the area before it’s deemed usable again by other employees.
The team you use should be certified in these types of cleanups because if there are chemicals or bodily fluids spilled, a specific protocol will need to be used to clean the area. You don’t want to risk contaminating other areas of the workplace because the people cleaning the scene don’t know what they’re doing.
Launch an Internal Investigation
Before an employee can be approved for workers’ compensation, there needs to be an internal investigation conducted. This investigation is routine and will determine if the workplace should be liable for the injury occurring or if the fault is on behalf of the employee.
All facets should be reviewed when conducting an internal review of the incident. This means conducting interviews with employees that were present in the area during the time of the incident. It’s also appropriate for the business to write up an incident report and document what occurred that day.
This is used as evidence and will need to be provided to your insurance carrier if your business ends up being on the hook for the accident that has taken place. Each workplace injury that takes place will need to be thoroughly documented. If a death occurs due to the accident, the workplace must notify the OSHA of what has happened.
When OSHA is notified, the business will likely be responsible for paying an assortment of fees. They may even deem that your business has to undergo a follow-up inspection following the accident.
Contact a Lawyer
Contacting a lawyer is mainly for the employee because they will need someone who understands personal injury law and what it takes to get the employee the compensation they deserve. A personal injury lawyer understands the evidence that needs to be collected and how to use it in court.
They’ll detail for the employee the various forms of compensation they could see from their case, especially if their injury will cause them to be out of work for an extended period of time. The lawyer understands what it takes to file a personal injury claim and the fees attached to it.
Businesses are required to have liability insurance to cover them when employees are hurt. The lawyer will advise the employee of their rights and provide in-depth advice on what they should do next in their case.
In some instances, this means continuing to negotiate with the company where the injury occurred to receive a settlement or compensation needed to continue sustaining their households and covering their medical expenses. When working with a lawyer, you might not have to go to court if the insurance company agrees to reach a settlement on behalf of the company.
However, if the settlement presented isn’t agreed upon, the lawyer will advise you to take another step and take your case to court to receive a better outcome.
Follow Up on the Incident
As a workplace, the next step is following up on the incident. Following up shows that the business is taking the proper steps to remedy the situation and ensure everything has been taken care of.
Some questions to address during the follow-up would include the following:
- Are the proper actions being taken?
- Check off that each action is taken in a timely manner.
- Monitor the actions and ongoing status of the workplace case
The company should be able to contact its attorney and insurance company to gain more insight into the case’s on goings.
If more documentation is needed, they will be notified, and if proper steps are followed, providing more information won’t be an issue.
Accidents Happen, But There Should Be a Plan in Place
When people are at work, there are going to be times when accidents happen. In these instances, there should be immediate action on behalf of the business to tend to the employee and begin documentation of the incident.
Failing to do so can cause issues for the business when documentation is requested, and the employee files a workers’ compensation case. For more on workplace injury or how to handle it, our website has the information you need.