Every seven seconds in the United States, a worker gets injured while on the job.
Have you recently had a worker get hurt at your company? Are you feeling unsure of what to do next? Do you want to prevent future accidents (and potential lawsuits) from happening?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, keep reading. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about moving forward after your employee has experienced an injury.
Seek Medical Attention
The first thing you need to do is get medical attention for your employee.
Depending on the severity of their injury, this might involve calling for an ambulance or arranging for someone to drive them to the nearest urgent care. Your first priority needs to be making sure they’re safe and can receive the care they need.
Encourage medical attention even if the injury doesn’t seem serious or your employee is saying they’re okay. It’s best to err on the side of caution, especially in situations where someone’s been hurt on the job.
Figure Out the Facts
Once your injured employee has received medical attention (or is on their way to receiving it), it’s time to get the facts on what happened. Take a look around the worksite and find out what caused their accident.
This is a good time to talk to other workers and get their side of the story as well. Don’t forget to take pictures and write down as many details as you can about the accident.
Doing all of this will help you to defend yourself and prevent legal issues later on.
File a Report
As an employer, you have certain responsibilities that you must fulfill if an employee gets hurt while at work.
This includes filing a report to your workers’ compensation insurance carrier. In most cases, this report is known as the First Report of Injury or Illness.
Use this report to document the events, record statements from other workers who witnessed the accident, and write down your own thoughts about what happened.
Contact and Cooperate with Your Workers Compensation Provider
Be sure to reach out to your workers’ compensation insurance provider at this time, too.
As any guide to workers comp will tell you, the sooner you contact your insurance company (and your company’s lawyer), the better off you’ll be.
Don’t delay taking action after an injury has occurred. You don’t want to be accused of being negligent or not taking your employee’s accident seriously.
Monitor the Employee’s Claim
Once your employee has filed their claim, it can take up to 90 days for an administrator to make a decision about whether they want to accept or deny it.
Throughout this process, take care to monitor their claim and make sure they’ve taken all the necessary steps while filing it.
Ensure that you’re doing everything correctly on your end, too. This can help to move things along and wrap the case up sooner.
Make a Welcome Back Plan
By law, you cannot fire an employee after they’ve been injured on the job and file a workers’ compensation claim. Doing this will create more problems for your company and could open you up to potential lawsuits.
As a result, you need to have a plan in place for welcoming your employee back once they’ve recovered. Figure out what accommodations are needed for them to perform their job without aggravating their injury.
Make sure they know that you’re excited to have them back at work, too, and let them know that they’re not in trouble for filing a claim.
Avoid Future Injuries
In addition to taking care of your injured employee, you also need to take steps after their injury to prevent similar ones from occurring in the future.
No employer ever wants to hear about or deal with one of their workers getting hurt. If an injury has already happened, though, use it as an opportunity to reevaluate your processes and learn from your mistakes.
Here are some steps you can take to prevent future injuries from taking place:
Create a Safety Plan
If you don’t already have a safety plan, now’s the time to create one. If you have a plan but it’s been a while since you’ve reviewed it, use this time to do so and look for gaps.
No matter which situation you’re in, having a clear and well-thought-out plan will help to shield your employees from injuries.
Provide the Right Equipment
If you want your employees to stay safe and healthy at work, they need the right equipment. Make sure they have protective gear if necessary, as well as well-made ergonomic furniture that helps to prevent overuse injuries and other accidents.
Assess Your Employee Training
Consider reassessing your employee training, too. Is it thorough enough? Are there gaps in training that contributed to your employee getting hurt?
Talk to your employees and ask them what they think of the training. Find out if there are areas in which you can improve and provide extra guidance.
Listen to Feedback
When you ask your employees for feedback, be sure to listen and act on it, too. They’re the ones on the floor doing the work every day, so they have more insight into what needs to change.
Make sure they know that they can talk to you about problems without getting in trouble.
Start Preventing Workplace Injuries Today
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to handling workplace injuries.
If your employee recently got hurt while on the job, you may panicking about how to proceed to ensure they get the care they need while also protecting your company from a potential lawsuit.
If you follow the steps laid out in this article, it’ll be much easier for you to handle this process and show your employee (or employees) that you care.
Do you want to learn more about workers comp and handling workplace injuries? If so, check out the business section of our site today to get some additional insight.