Entrepreneurs can take all the appropriate workplace safety measures and precautions to avoid injuries in the workplace. This can include offering extensive safety training, and posting signage in places where accidents are likely to happen. All that said, how an employer responds to a personal injury claim can make the biggest difference of all when an employee does hurt themselves.
When an accident occurs and the worker decides to file a compensation claim, the employer should follow these procedures to handle a work-related accident or injury.
Care for the Injured or Ill Worker First
The safety of the workers comes before anything else, and getting an ill or injured worker treated as quickly as possible is crucial. You can call 911 or a health facility near you in case of an emergency. Alternatively, take the injured worker to a medical facility if the situation isn’t dire. You can consult a health facility near the accident scene or the medical provider designated by your employees’ insurance carrier.
Cordon Off the Accident Scene
The first step to helping a worker win a personal injury claim is to secure the accident scene as soon as possible for gathering evidence. It might be necessary to barricade the scene to prevent cases of secondary accidents. After that, keep and secure any material or equipment that might have been involved in the crash.
Establish a Return-to-Work Program
Whether minor or severe, injuries such as strains and sprains can make workers stay at home for several weeks or months. The more an injured worker is away from the workstation, the more difficult and lengthy it might take them to recover and return to work. However, managers can implement a transition or return-to-work program to help their ill or injured workers to get back to work as soon and safely as they can.
These programs can potentially help injured workers lower their costs and keep off long-term disability. Companies can use modified or transition jobs as a return-to-work strategy for a worker who has been away for months due to injury or illness. These programs are designed to accommodate any workers who are fit to work, but they can’t return to their previous duties immediately.
These roles or jobs don’t have to be at the last level compensation, in the same department or position, or for the same working hours. Transitional modified jobs are designed to help recovering workers to maintain the resources of a skilled and productive workforce while preserving their connection with the company and skill level and confidence.
File the Necessary Paperwork
After caring for an injured worker and securing the scene of the incident, the next step is to complete the necessary documents. Firstly, fill an incident report and inform the worker’s insurance company within 24 hours of the incident. OSHA requires all employers to use OSHA form 300 to prepare and file all records of work-related illnesses and injuries.
Worker’s compensation insurance carrier often have programs that guide their clients in filing a compensation claim after sustaining injuries while at work. Workers can check with their insurance agents or carrier for available resources.
After the worker has received the appropriate medical care and attention, it is time for the employer to think about their protocol and obligation as the boss. Of course, injured or ill workers have the right to pursue fair compensation, and it is your role as the employer to provide them with any document or detail they may ask. You may have to report the matter to the worker’s compensation insurer in case an injured worker decides to pursue a claim.
Your first report should be about their illness or injury. Besides that report, it might be necessary for the employer to file any other document that could be helpful in their future lawsuits. Talk with workers who witnessed the incident, take pictures of the scene, record statements, and write down your thoughts. Archive this information in your records because you might need it in the future.
Make a Commitment to the Safety of Your Workers
Employers can influence many factors that contribute to claim costs, return-to-work success, and confidence and satisfaction levels of injured workers. As such, employers should prioritize the safety of their workers, plan for transitional modified jobs in advance, and establish a relationship with a compensation insurance carrier and medical providers.
That will position them well to handle any work-related injury efficiently and safely in case one occurs.
Cooperate with Insurance Companies
Of course, the employer must cooperate with the worker’s attorney and insurance carrier in case they decide to pursue a claim. The Brisbane personal Injury Lawyers Murphy’s Law suggests that insurers will likely ask for different files and documents of the worker, so go ahead and provide them with anything they may need.
However, don’t disclose their confidential information to anyone without their consent. In case a different lawyer who claims to represent one of your injured employees calls or sends you an email, contact the compensation carrier immediately for clarification.
Prevent Future Injuries
Of course, it is your responsibility as the boss to prevent a similar incident from happening in the future. Learn from that incident and use that experience to develop measures and strategies that will help eliminate future shortcomings and reduce their risks. That’s the only way an employer can protect their venture and workers.
Though tedious and challenging, it is possible for employers to protect their workers from injuries. However, that doesn’t mean that workers are immune to injuries, but there are ways to reduce the risk of severe injuries that can cause fatalities. Employers are responsible for the safety of their workers at the workstation.
While the employer can’t prevent all injuries and incidents from occurring, some aspects are controllable. Employers can lower the risk of their workers by establishing protocols and measures to secure their workplace. Employers can also control the speed in which they respond to injuries by owning up responsibilities and caring for their workers first before taking them to the hospital.