Injured at Work: How to Handle Workplace Injury

Injured at Work: How to Handle Workplace Injury

In 2018 alone, employees in the private sector recorded at least 900,380 work-related injuries. In each of these cases, the injured worker missed at least one day of work. Workplace injuries have a negative implication on productivity in your business.

Accidents in the workplace not only cost your organization reduced productivity but also impact on the overall employee morale. The unfortunate reality is that some instances of workplace injuries are unavoidable. This is especially so for employees operating machines, heavy equipment, or hazardous material.

As a business owner preparing in advance for any case of workplace injury is integral. What do you do in case you or your staff suffer workplace injuries? In this article, you’ll learn how to deal with a workplace injury in a firm yet professional manner.

Always Be Prepared

Preparedness should be the most critical consideration when dealing with workplace injuries. As an employer, you need to have a plan in place on how to handle any workplace accidents. The first reaction following an accident is often to panic.

Such instances of panic can further worsen the situation. Your best plan of action is to create a response plan for specific types of accidents. Further, your response plan should focus on training your employees on responding to emergencies and accidents.

When dealing with workplace injuries, it would also help to have emergency contacts on file for all employees. If your company is middle-sized, it would further help to assign a safety officer for each dangerous areas. Preparedness means that you appreciate the uncertainty of workplace injuries.

Respond Immediately After Injury

How you respond in case of an accident sets a precedent for your organization. It’s easy to bring a situation under control if your response is swift in case of an injury. How you handle, injured employees may also affect their decision to sue the company.

The time wasted between the occurrence of an injury, and the response can avert a fatality. It would help to establish strategies to minimize the risk of further injury. Finding a way to provide immediate care for such employees should be your prerogative.

Employees who suffer injuries in the workplace can get immediate care for neck, back, pain management, primary care, and regenerative medicine. It would be best for you as an employer to seek health care support from a healthcare provider with experience in handling workplace injury cases.

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Investigate the Accident

When an employer suffers an injury while at the workplace, they have an entitlement to recover benefits. The laws on compensation differ from one state to the next. Even so, they tend to have the same basic premise. The fact is that you still have to foot the medical bills for the injured.

If your business has insurance coverage, then your insurance carrier makes the call on whether the injury is compensable. As such, it’s vital to investigate the circumstances leading to workplace injury. Such information will help you prepare for an internal investigation following the event.

The investigation will assist you to establish future measures to put in place to minimize such reoccurrences. As such, it would help to have incident reports and interview results of eyewitnesses. Such additional information can help you prepare a defense in case of subsequent litigation.

Keep Abreast of Paper Work and Communication

If an employee suffers injuries at the workplace, the first thing they should file is a worker’s comp claim. When filing such complaints, you must work closely with the injured employee. The worker’s comp claim should help enable the injured employee to receive funds to cater for medical expenses.

A responsible employer should keep a close check on the paperwork and any related communication related to the injury. It would be in your best interest as a business owner to keep the communication between all the parties involved open. Ensuring open communication helps speed up the compensation process and guarantees a speedy resumption to work for such injured staff.

Notify OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) undertook 40,993 State planned inspections of business in 2018. OSHA has been at the forefront of ensuring safe and healthful working conditions for employees. When a workplace injury occurs within your business premise, it’s vital to notify OSHA as soon as you can.

OSHA sets out time stipulations within which you should report any occurrence of accidents. For deaths that occur due to workplace injury, you should report within 8 hours. You should report any other workplace injury within 24 hours following the incident.

Failure to comply with these stipulations, you could be liable to citations of at least $750. It would help to prepare in advance for OSHA inspection and possible fines if your workplace has underlying issues.

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Consider the Possibility for Leave

A close assessment of workplace injury statistics indicates that most victims require time off to recuperate. Such time offs may run concurrently with worker’s compensation leave. It would help to structure any leave of duty within the standards of the FMLA.

You may need to assess the medical certifications from health care providers. Such scrutiny helps to confirm that you adhere to recommended FMLA guidelines.

Reevaluate Your Polices

What policies do you have in place to help you deal with workplace injuries? The process of returning to work after an accident is complex. While most employees are willing to jump back to their roles after recovering from an accident, some may want to seek financial gain.

It would be best to have a well set out plan of action if you encounter a malicious employee. Such internal guidelines ensure that you have a laid-out return to work policy following an accident. However, when workplace injuries occur, there’s always the risk of a lawsuit.

Dealing With Lawsuits

When you consider all these factors, yet a workplace injury morphs into a lawsuit, it’s essential to have your legal team ready. The longer the litigation process takes, the more expensive the process will be for you. It would help to share all the information related to the case with your attorneys.

Workplace injury lawyers can help you in case of a lawsuit. Your team of legal experts can assist to mitigate your exposure during the litigation process.

You Can Now Handle Workplace Injury Better With These Tips

Workplace accidents can cause panic and affect morale within your business. Accidents are dreaded yet inevitable outcomes. Developing workplace injury prevention mechanisms is vital for you as an employer.

Even when you have such prevention measures in place, it’s essential to know what to do in case of a workplace injury. These eight steps lay down your best approach when handling common workplace injuries. Remember to have a trusted healthcare provider on standby as one of the steps towards preparedness.

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