Even if your company has a safety program in place and makes an effort to prevent employee injuries, accidents can still happen. Workplace accidents can happen at any time, and it can be frightening and disorienting for both the employee and employer. When an injury occurs, it is vital to act immediately based on a plan that addresses the needs of your workers.
Your response to accidents can make a significant difference in the well-being and medical care of your employees, and it is vital that you know what to do when this happens. Caring early for your injured employee can significantly impact health-related results. Without further ado, here are the steps you should take when your employee is injured at work.
1. Care for Your Employee First
The safety of your employee comes first, and promptly getting an injured employee, the medical treatment required is crucial. As soon as the accident occurs, evaluate the medical attention the employee requires, and if it is severe, dial 911 instantly. In a situation that is not serious, the injured person should be transported to a medical care facility.
You can seek help at a medical facility close to the scene of the accident or consult a medical provider chosen by the company’s worker’s compensation. Some worker’s compensation insurance carriers offer 24/7 access to registered nurses that are trained to provide medical guidance for work-related illness or injuries over the phone.
2. Investigate the Incident
Though worker’s compensation laws depend on the state, they all have the same fundamental premise, which is employees been entitled to recover benefits when injured. The bottom line is that your insurance carrier determines whether an employee’s injury is compensable. Even with that, you should conduct an internal investigation as to the cause of the accident.
For starters, interview those that witness the incident and create a report. Then contact a lawyer to develop any necessary countermeasures to protect against future risks. Remember that incidents reports and interviews are expected to be discovered in any OSHA investigations and succeeding litigation.
3. Follow through with the necessary paperwork
Once you have ensured the safety of your employee and investigate the incident, you must complete the necessary paperwork. Make sure you complete an incident report and any claim that needs to be reported to the worker’s compensation insurance carrier within the first 24 hours of the accident.
OSHA recordkeeping regulation requires employees to prepare and provide records of work-related illnesses and injuries, making use of the OSHA form 300. Moreover, some worker’s compensation carriers provide programs that help guide their clients in this type of situation. So, check with your insurance agent or carrier for resources.
4. Corporate with workers’ compensation
If injured on the job, injured employees have the right to file a claim, and as the employer, it is your responsibility to give them a claim form. After completing and signing the employer’s part of the claim form, submit the form to a claims administrator who will take care of more details of the worker’s compensation. Besides, it is a good idea to have open communication between the injured worker, the insurance agent, the claims adjustor, and the doctor to stay informed and fast track the claims process.
5. Be prepared for when an injury becomes a lawsuit
If an injured worker sues, try to make sure the line of communication is open. The more expensive a litigated claim gets, the longer it takes. So, make sure you share all the relevant information with claims adjusters and Compo lawyers, including any records and documentation.
To prevent a much expensive claim, try to settle as earlier as possible. A worker’s compensation claim can usually be settled without litigation, though it is better to have it in mind that it is possible to go to court. That said, when you follow the fundamental safety precautions, you should be able to avoid filing for worker’s compensation claims in the first place.
6. Prevent future issues
One good thing that can come from an accident at the workplace is that it gives the employer the opportunity to access the situation and prevent future accidents from occurring. Create plans for reducing risks that can help protect your workers and business. For instance, invest in training, education, and offer adequate resources and make sure everything is working properly.
Many work-related injuries can result in the injured employee missing time from work. Depending on the gravity of the injury, an employee may be missing from work for weeks or months. The longer employees are away from work, the more challenging it can be for them to go back to work. With an effective return to work program, your employees can get back to work with ease.