In 2020, employers across America reported 2.7 million injury and illness cases among their employees. While every business owner hopes it never happens, it’s important to know what to do when an employee is injured at work.
In spite of taking all the right precautions, accidents can still happen. So now is the time to make a plan for this eventuality. There are practical steps you can take, and legal consequences to consider.
Let’s take a quick look at what to do when an employee is injured at work.
Follow Your Emergency Response Plan
Every business should have a plan to follow if someone is injured at work. This will include having first aid supplies and a designated first aider on duty at all times. Everyone should be trained periodically in how to respond if an accident occurs.
Avoid Further Injuries
Assess the situation and identify potential risks to the injured person. This will likely just be a quick scan to make sure that the area is safe. If there is an ongoing risk, you may need to move the person out of danger.
Then, quickly check that others are safe and will not suffer harm. Keep the victim calm as you assess the employee injury and decide whether medical help is needed.
If the injuries are minor, first aid may be all they need. If in any doubt, call 911.
Even if the injury is not severe, you should encourage them to get checked out by a doctor. This is especially important if they start feeling unwell later.
Document the Incident
As soon as the employee has been cared for medically, you must legally report the matter. This is true of any serious illness or injury, or any loss of life that occurs at the workplace. This report must be made by phone or through an online form to your local Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) office.
For loss of life, you must do this within 8 hours, and for other serious injuries within 24 hours.
You must also complete an OSHA Log 300. This details all injuries and illnesses that require more than first aid. Full details of qualifying illnesses and injuries can be found in the attached instructions.
You should also arrange to take photos of the scene and take witness statements.
Review What Happened
Afterward, it’s important to analyze what went wrong and how to prevent it from happening again.
Also, check on your other employees. They may have safety concerns and be traumatized by the event. Make sure that you do not share any confidential information with your employees.
Workers Compensation Insurance
All employers must provide workers compensation insurance, and it is your responsibility to provide the injured party with a claim form.
You will also need to:
- Inform the workers compensation insurance company
- Complete Employers Report of Accident
- Provide any needed information to the claims adjuster
For more information on workers compensation rights, check out https://leelawoffices.org/workers-compensation/.
What to Do When an Employee Is Injured at Work
We hope that our handy guide has shown you what to do when an employee is injured at work. It’s vitally important to seek prompt medical attention, follow all OSHA guidelines, and arrange worker compensation for your employee.
It’s not possible to prevent every injury at work. But with good preparation and working within the guidelines, you can greatly reduce the risk.
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