No matter how you, as a business owner, comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) standards to ensure the optimal safety of the workplace, accidents and injuries can still happen.
It is, therefore, important that you know what to do in the event that one of your employees suffers an injury while on the job. Here are a few tips to help you act quickly and appropriately should a workplace accident occur.
1.) Quick and appropriate response hinges on proper planning.
One of the best ways for you to effectively handle a workplace injury is to always be prepared for the worst. You can do this by:
- Training your employees and supervisors on safety and emergency response plans;
- Assigning safety personnel to oversee employees assigned in particularly risky jobs;
- Keeping first-aid supplies handy; and
- Maintaining emergency contacts on file for every employee.
2.) Secure the scene of the accident.
The site of an accident has to be secured as quickly as possible. Keep other employees away. Assess the severity of the injury, determine its cause, and evaluate the situation carefully, so that no one else is at risk.
Call 911 and don’t attempt to move your injured worker from the area of the accident, especially if you suspect that there’s a concussion or damage to their neck or spine. Moving the person may only aggravate their injury and increase the risk of complications.
Also, be sure to gather as much information and evidence of the accident and properly document them. This is because even if your employee claims to be fine, they may need to seek medical treatment at a later date.
3.) Practice due diligence when it comes to paperwork and communication.
Work with your employee to file a workers’ compensation claim through your company’s insurance provider. Taking the initiative greatly lessens litigation risks.
Additionally, by maintaining open and responsive communication with your injured employee, the doctor, the claims adjustor, and the insurance agent, you will help expedite the claims which, in turn, will enable your employee to promptly receive the funds needed to pay for subsequent treatment. The sooner your employee can obtain treatment, the sooner they can recover and get back to work. This translates into you being able to quickly restore the productivity of your workforce.
While you’re at it, create documents that outline the workers’ compensation process and your company’s return-to-work policies for all employees as a way to build trust and also lower claims costs.
4.) Know what you need to do if or when an injured employee sues your company.
In the event of a lawsuit, keep the lines of communication open by sharing relevant information and documentation with the attorneys and claims adjusters involved. By settling a claim sooner rather than later, you can prevent drawn-out and costlier litigation.
Your employer’s liability insurance included in your workers’ compensation policy will help pay your legal fees as well as other costs, so don’t haggle.
Workers’ Compensation in Grand Junction, Colorado
At WorkPartners Occupational Health, we specialize in workers’ compensation services designed to help both the injured employee and employer navigate the often challenging details of workers’ compensation.
To learn more about our workers’ compensation and/or workplace injury rehabilitation services, or to schedule a consultation with one of our providers, contact us today by calling at (970) 241-5585. We look forward to helping your employees get back to work faster – and helping your business cut costs and boost productivity!