Are you prepared to handle an injury at the jobsite? It’s far from an ideal occurrence, and as any attorney for life-altering injuries can tell you, the consequences can be far reaching. Employers, for instance, have a responsibility to find out what happened and try to prevent it from happening in the future (through improved training, safety standards, etc.). On the flip side, employees may have a long road to recovery ahead of them, and may even be nervous over the possibility of being fired after taking medical leave.
The list of intricacies surrounding workplace accidents continues, and can vary depending on the specific industry and type of injury sustained. One thing that’s clear, however, is that employers need to have a clear plan for responding to such incidents so that the most satisfactory outcomes can be reached for all parties involved. With that involved, let’s take a look at some of the most important steps employers can take following an injury on the job.
First Things First: Providing Care
Above all else, tending to an injured employee is paramount. Employers should respond by calling 911 in an emergency situation, and, in non-emergency scenarios, getting their employee to medical care professionals so that they can provide aid. While it may be natural for an employer to stress over the potential financial ramifications of an on-the-job injury, those concerns should always take a back seat to making sure their employees are safe and cared for.
Securing The Scene & Investigating The Incident
The area where the injury occurred needs to be contained so that an employer can investigate what happened properly. Employers should limit access to the scene of the injury (which will also help prevent any additional injuries), and get to the bottom of what happened so that they can take the appropriate steps to avoid another mishap.
Notifications & Paperwork
Serious injuries require that employers make a report to OSHA (the Occupational Health and Safety Administration). Employers will also have to prepare reports and paperwork for insurance carriers. The rules on these reports can vary depending on the severity of the incident, so it might be wise to get familiar with OSHA’s Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements.
Don’t Forget The Return To Work
Injuries can sideline employees for weeks, or even months — depending on their severity. Following this period, it can be difficult for an employee to get back to work, so it’s a good idea for employers to create accommodations that will allow their injured employees to get back into the groove of their job quickly post-recovery.