Did you know that a worker gets injured on the job once every seven seconds? That’s 510 injuries per hour and 12,600 injuries per day!
As a business owner, you probably work hard to ensure that none of your employees experience injuries while doing their jobs. Sometimes though, injuries happen anyway.
If you have an employee who recently experienced a workplace injury, or if you want to be prepared in the event that this happens at your business, this article is for you.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about handling workplace injuries as an employer.
Most Common Workplace Injuries
Before we get into the specific steps one should take when responding to a workplace injury, it’s a good idea for you to understand all the different ways in which an employee could get injured on the job. Many employers have no idea how many risks their employees face on a regular basis.
The following are some of the most common workplace injuries of which you ought to be aware:
- Overexertion injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Slip, trip, and fall injuries
- Vehicle accidents
- Machine entanglement
This is not an exhaustive list of injuries a worker may face while on the job. However, in the modern workplace, these are the injuries that employers should be most vigilant about preventing.
Overexertion injuries are especially problematic for employers. In fact, it’s estimated that they cost businesses more than $15 billion per year (and that’s just in terms of direct costs). These injuries often occur due to improper pulling, pushing, carrying, lifting, or holding techniques.
How to Respond to a Workplace Injury
If you have an employee who experiences one of these common workplace injuries (or any kind of injury at all), there’s a specific protocol that you ought to follow.
Taking the following steps will help you ensure that your employee gets the help they need while making sure your business is protected:
Get Medical Care
The first thing to do is to make sure your employee is okay. Arrange for someone to take them to the nearest hospital or doctor’s office or call an ambulance to have them transported there.
Make sure that you and your other employees comply with the standards put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (or OSHA) — this includes handling bloodborne pathogens in a safe way to prevent the spread of disease.
Inspect the Scene
Next, take a look at the scene of the accident and talk to other employees about what happened. Take note of what caused the injury to occur and record how it happened. Your insurance provider is going to want as much information on the accident as possible to determine whether or not it’s coverable.
You also need to alert OSHA as soon as possible. For serious injuries, such as amputation or hospitalizations, you must report the accident within 24 hours. If you don’t do so, you could face a hefty fine.
Look into Leave
Your employee may need to take a leave of absence to heal from their injury. Make sure you understand what leave options are available to them and how much time off, from a legal perspective, you have to give them.
This will help you ensure you’re not violating any rules, and it’ll give you a chance to make arrangements for the employee’s shifts to be covered if necessary.
When the employee returns to work, you may have to make certain accommodations for them. For example, they may need to sit to perform their duties instead of standing up, or they may need to take extra breaks.
Look into the accommodations that you’re required to make and start creating a plan to allow your employee these accommodations without interrupting the flow of the workplace.
Consult Your Lawyer
According to this law firm, it’s always a good idea to get in touch with your lawyer after an employee gets injured on the job.
Your lawyer will help you make sure everything is above board and ensure your business is protected from lawsuits or other issues. They can also advise you on the best way to handle conversations with insurance providers and the injured employee themselves.
Talk to Your Employees
Be sure to talk to your employees about the accident, too. Witnessing a workplace accident can be stressful and traumatic for workers, even if they weren’t injured themselves.
Make sure they understand what went wrong and how they can prevent it from happening to them in the future. They also need to know that you care about their well-being and are taking steps to prevent additional accidents.
Preventing Workplace Injuries
It’s important to know how to respond to workplace injuries. It’s also important to know how to prevent them from happening in the first place.
The following tips can help you avoid having to deal with injuries at work and keep your business running smoothly:
- Have a solid safety and wellness plan
- Screen applicants with care
- Understand safety vulnerabilitiesthat are most common to your industry
- Provide protective equipment
- Stay fully staffed to prevent workers from doing more than they can safely handle
- Maintain a clean and organized workspace
Taking simple steps like this right from the beginning can work wonders when it comes to keeping your employees safe and preventing injuries.
It doesn’t matter if your business is brand new or decades old. Either way, you ought to make sure these measures are in place.
Handle Workplace Injuries with Ease
No employer wants to find out that a workplace injury occurred on their watch. No matter how careful you are, though, accidents can always happen.
Be sure to keep this information in mind so that, if one of your employees experiences an injury, you know how to handle it in the best way possible. These tips will help you get your employee treated in a prompt manner while also protecting your business.
Do you want to learn more about managing employees and handling the day-to-day ups and downs of running a business? If so, check out some of the other articles in the business section of our site today.