What To Do If an Employee Experiences a Significant Workplace Injury

Workplace accidents are distressing for both the employee and employer, especially if they result from someone's mistake or negligence. 

Even if most workplace accidents can be prevented, the reality is that they do occur, and you must be prepared to handle them. The more severe the injuries, the quicker you need to respond and take the necessary actions to prevent complications. That’s why it’s vital to offer proper prevention and train your employees so that everyone knows what to do when an accident occurs. Your staff should know what steps they must follow to handle the situation and ensure that the injured worker is safe until specialised help arrives. It would be best to keep in view what must happen after a workplace accident, like dealing with legal matters and reporting them to the authorities. Injured employees can claim compensation to cover their medical treatment expenses.

Depending on your business’s location, the regulations may require getting workers’ compensation. However, even if they don’t, it’s still a good idea to carry it because it protects your company from being held financially responsible.

If one of your employees experiences a significant workplace injury, here are the steps and actions you must take.

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Assess the situation

Don’t panic when someone gets injured at the job. It’s essential to act fast and offer them immediate medical attention. Try to determine what kind of injury they have and how bad it looks to inform the first call responders. Someone should immediately make sure the injured worker is comfortable and safe until medical help comes. It’s essential to apply first aid as required and call for an ambulance if the injury is severe enough and your on-site medical team cannot provide the needed help.

The emergency service can offer guidance on the phone, so you can keep the employee stable until the ambulance arrives. If they’re conscious, it’s crucial to talk to them and ask them questions to figure out what symptoms they experience and keep them awake.

Follow safety and health recommendations

Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires companies to inform the authorities when severe workplace injuries occur. You need to report body parts loss, hospitalisation, amputations and deaths within 8 or 24 hours. According to the type of injuries your employees suffered, you must follow a set of recommendations to ensure you don’t put them in further danger.

Educate your workers to report to their supervisor if they witness an injury or any kind of accident to take the appropriate measures. Ask the supervisors to file a report for each injury so you can keep track of them and review the factors that facilitate the accident’s occurrence. It’s crucial to form a safety committee to review all incidents because they could play an active role in preventing workplace accidents.

Get the injured employee to a safe place

 If possible, move the injured worker to a safe place. This can reduce the risk of additional health issues if they’re exposed to dangers. However, some injuries require leaving the patient where they are because moving them can trigger further complications. If you don’t know how to act, ask the emergency service for guidance on the phone after informing them of the conditions that triggered the accident and the symptoms your worker experiences. They can help you figure out if it’s safe to move the employee to a more comfortable space or leave them as they are and offer first aid.

Review the company’s emergency plan

Each company should develop an emergency plan the employees and management can follow in case of workplace accidents. Follow the steps outlined in the plan to ensure you respected them when you handled the worker’s injury. If you don’t have an emergency plan, create one because it’s best to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

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An emergency plan should include information about the steps the ones witnessing the accident should follow to prevent panic. Regularly review and update the emergency plan to ensure it evolves together with your operations and market needs.

Investigate the incident

If you’re unsure of how the worker got injured, take a look around the place and determine if there are code violations your company may have missed. When you identify issues, report them to the safety committee and rectify them as soon as possible. Talk to the staff who witnessed the incident even if you were there because you may have missed something. They may confirm what you saw and offer other details. Gathering evidence is essential because it allows you to prevent another similar accident from occurring.

Seek legal counsel

Depending on the injury severity, the employee may seek workplace accident compensation, and your company could face a lawsuit. This is another reason why you need to know all the facts to provide your legal adviser with complete information they can use to build a case. You want to help your employee and prevent further workplace accidents, but you also have a fiscal responsibility to your business.

What to do if the employee was injured off the job

If your worker was injured, your workers’ compensation won’t offer them any benefits. In this instance, their health insurance can cover their medical treatment costs. The authorities may require companies to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they hire staff. But there are some exceptions for ventures with seasonal workers, agricultural workers, and domestic workers.

When one of these workers is injured, your company doesn’t have to carry insurance for them because they must pay their medical expenses on their own.

Final words

Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to prevent a workplace accident from happening. But you should always ensure your equipment and workplace environment are up to date and all employees follow safety regulations. Lack of maintenance and inspection can make your company prone to accidents. When incidents happen, you must have the required first aid supplies to immediately treat minor injuries and stabilise the workers while waiting for an ambulance.

Interesting Related Article: “Avoiding a Workplace Accident and What To Do If It Happens