Today we want to share 5 tips on what to do when your employee sustains an injury. Statistics indicate that approximately 340 million work-related accidents happen annually. Workplace injuries can affect your business negatively. For starters, you’d find yourself dealing with lawsuits, damaged brand reputation, legal costs, and other expenses. You also risk experiencing low employee morale, decreased productivity, dissatisfied customers, sales reduction, or the closure of your business. Although you may take the necessary steps to protect your employees, workplace injuries are sometimes inevitable. And knowing the right strategies can save your business. Here’s what to do when your employee sustains an injury.
1. Take action immediately
The first thing is ensuring your injured worker receives the needed treatment. This way, the doctor can examine their symptoms and draft a record that would be useful when they file a lawsuit. Moreover, prompt action can determine if the injury was work-related, so keep this in mind. You can offer first aid treatment before sending your worker to the hospital if it’s a minor injury. However, you must transport them to the emergency room if it’s more serious. Depending on your state’s regulations, you may be required to choose your workers’ doctor.
It’s worth noting that you’d be more equipped to handle workplace injuries with a well-drafted accident response plan. This should include a detailed description of employee medical benefits, consent and claim forms, healthcare providers that accept your workers’ compensation coverage, and so on. Your business’s light-duty policies and a return-to-work release form should also be included in your response plan.
2. Ensure organization
It’s common for workers to lose focus and be all over the place after an incident. However, you don’t want to deal with chaos while attending to an injured person. Also, your employees can risk falling victim to what triggered the incident in the first place. Therefore, ensuring organization in these situations is essential. Moving all workers to a safe space until the threat is identified and rectified is helpful. You can also bar your workers from entering danger zones to prevent additional injury cases.
3. Gather the necessary information
Gathering information about the incident shouldn’t be left to your injured worker only. Since you’d have to give them compensation benefits, getting the needed data can ensure you aren’t cheated. Moreover, the right evidence can save you from a pending lawsuit. Therefore, you can begin by taking photos of the accident scene, injuries, faulty machines, and other things that triggered the incident. Video coverage can also record key details that a picture might miss, so feel free to consider this. You can also get statements from key witnesses to get their perspectives on the accident. Also, maintenance records can show that your equipment functions properly, reducing your risks of getting hit by a lawsuit.
4. File a workers’ compensation claim
Being a part of filing a worker’s compensation claim is also essential. You should always encourage your workers to inform you of injuries they sustain at work. This way, you are not left in the dark. It’s worth noting that employees must provide a written notice once they can do so. States have a specific period for reporting their injuries; New York laws require victims to inform their employers within 30 days, while other states give up to a year. Afterward, you must make your injured worker aware of their workers’ compensation benefits and rights. That said, you will give them a comp claim form detailing the nature of their injury and how it happened.
Experts advise including detailed information regarding compensation in each worker’s employment packet to prevent lawsuits. It’s also important to know how to negotiate your workers’ compensation claims to avoid being disadvantaged. And a workers comp settlement chart can be beneficial for this purpose. However, a workers’ compensation claim may not cover certain issues. You should also avoid settling medical bills out of your pocket, regardless of how small the injury is. Indeed, a seemingly minor problem can quickly escalate into something more complicated.
5. Re-evaluate your workplace safety needs
Re-evaluating your workplace safety needs is essential for preventing further accidents. And you can do this by determining and fixing potential hazards. Fortunately, a safety audit can help you pinpoint areas requiring immediate action, so feel free to leverage this. Alternatively, organize a workshop to reiterate the importance of workplace safety for your employees. Investing in the right PPEs, regular machinery maintenance, and a strong safety policy is also beneficial. Staying on top of safety can send a positive message to your workers, increasing their motivation and productivity.
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