C-Suite Agenda

What To Do If A Workplace Injury Has Taken Place

Worker Helping Injured Colleague

Injuries in the workplace can be physically disastrous for employees, financially disastrous for employers, and tend to decrease morale across the board. Even in work environments where AI does a lot of the heavy lifting, the chance that an employee injures his or herself is still significant, which is why it’s vital to have a protocol in place should an accident occur.

That’s why the first step to managing a workplace injury is making sure you have a plan in place to begin with. Otherwise, it would be easy to potentially pit the employee against the employer.

Make A Plan

Responding to a workplace injury should not involve any indecision. Action needs to be taken swiftly and efficiently to minimize the amount of harm that befalls the injured worker. For that reason, the plan needs to involve:

  • Assessing the injury
  • Secure the area
  • Collect information
  • Carefully complete paperwork

While conducting these essential steps, it’s important to show your injured employee that you are taking full care of the situation, and will be contacting their family members should the injury prove serious. The employee should not have to take any further action, like having to drive him or herself to the hospital or feel responsible for finishing the day’s work.

Assess the Injury

Even if there is little evidence to suggest that the injury is grievous, it’s important to treat all injuries with the utmost seriousness. Sometimes, a minor injury may only be concealing much greater harm somewhere out of sight. Often, neither the employee nor anyone on staff is qualified to make such an assessment, so the employee should be delivered to professional medical care as soon as possible.

This leaves employers with two options:

  • Drive the employee to a medical facility: If the injury does not appear to be immediately life-threatening, it is permissible to drive the employee to a care facility.
  • Call 9-1-1: If the employee has broken a bone, is exhibiting worrisome physical signs, or is bleeding in a major way, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1. In the meantime, make sure the employee is immobilized and as calm as possible.

When delivering the employee to the medical facility, make sure you alert the healthcare provider if the employee qualifies for workers’ comp PBM (Pharmacy Benefit Management).

Secure the Area

Once you have decided the appropriate course of action for the employee, the next step is to secure the area where the injury took place, even if it is a necessary and productive work area. There are several different reasons to do this.

  • Lingering Danger: If the employee slipped on a wet spot or was injured because of a dangerous environmental hazard, it is vital to cordon off the area so others don’t also risk injury.
  • Documentation: When filling out workplace incident reports, you will need to be able to describe exactly what the scene looked like when the employee was injured. Ensuring the area remains untampered with, at least temporarily, is the only way to ensure accuracy.

Collect Information

It’s possible that the only person present when the injury happened was the employee, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that employers should do all they can to gather information on the incident in order to establish exactly why it occurred.

There are several ways you can go about gathering information, including:

  • Interview other employees
  • Review security footage
  • Interview the employee once they have been treated for their injuries

Discerning exactly how the incident occurred is essential if you want to prevent it from happening again. Of course, you will need to follow up your findings by making the necessary adjustments, even if it affects your business.

Carefully Complete Paperwork

Unfortunately, when an injury occurs in a workplace it usually marks the beginning of a long and protracted process that may potentially pit the employee against the employer. To make this process go as smoothly as possible, it’s vital that whoever remains on-site after the injury immediately fills out the appropriate paperwork while the details are still fresh in everyone’s mind.

Workplace Injuries

By following all of the steps on this list, your employee should be delivered safely to the appropriate medical personnel, and all of the information regarding the incident should be carefully documented in anticipation of any claims that will be made. However, the final and very important step any office manager needs to take following an injury is to reassure other employees that all measures have been taken to ensure a safe work environment, and to follow up on that promise. No one should have to go to work afraid of an injury.

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Ryan Miller

Ryan Miller

Global Assignment Editor
Ryan Miller is the Global Assignment Editor at CEOWORLD magazine. He covers anything and everything related to CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, senior management executives, business leaders, and high net worth individuals worldwide, whether lists or lifestyle, business or rankings. During his five-year tenure at CEOWORLD magazine, he has employed his expertise in data science across several roles. Ryan was previously responsible for data modelling and analytics, as well as secondary research, on the CEOWORLD magazine Custom Research team. He can be reached on email ryan-miller@ceoworld.biz. You can follow him on Twitter at @ceoworld.