How to Properly Handle Employee Injuries
Businesses must strive to ensure optimal day-to-day operations in order to maximize productivity and profitability. While many focus substantially on improving performance in these categories, another crucial element – workplace safety – often takes a proverbial back seat.
Regardless of the business model or workplace setting, on-the-job injuries are a reality everywhere. Employers must invest in minimizing the chances of employees being harmed while at work, but it’s just as important to know how react when and if this situation occurs.
To guide businesses in the right direction, here are some tips on handling employee injuries properly.
Be Prepared by Being Insured
The first action any business should take in handling potential employee injuries is to ensure they are properly covered. The easiest and most common way to do so is to invest in workers’ compensation insurance. This form of insurance provides medical and wage replacement benefits to employees who have been injured on the job, helping to shield employers from financial consequences.
It is also smart to consult with local workers’ compensation attorneys who can guarantee the business is in compliance with all regulations and precautions necessary. While the cost of insuring a business and its employees from workplace accidents may not seem profitable in a direct sense, an employee with workers’ compensation legal representation and a legitimate case can cost businesses far more financially.
Respond Immediately to the Situation
In the immediate aftermath of a workplace accident, employers need to execute an injury game plan to limit any further damage and document the situation.
First and foremost, make sure that all employees are evacuated from the area – this is especially necessary in the event of dangerous conditions, spills or other problems that could cause further injury.
Providing immediate assistance to those who are injured via first aid and professional medical attention is a must. All businesses should have first aid kits on hand for situations like this, and calls to 911 or emergency services should be made if the injuries are substantial.
Lastly, make sure the scene of the accident is properly documented and the happenings before and during the injury are recorded. This includes taking photographs, interviewing employees and quarantining any equipment that may have been involved.
Communicate and Facilitate
In the aftermath of an employee injury, employers should be ready to provide lines of communication and assistance with remedying the problem.
This starts by assisting employees in filing for workers’ compensation via a claim that is submitted to the insurance provider. There will be several involved parties, including the employer, the employee, the insurance company and the claim handler, so communication is key.
Being in touch with the employee is an imperative in the aftermath of an injury. Even in situations where workers’ compensation lawsuits may be brought by the employee, maintaining dialogue is crucial. Lawsuits can be expensive – and only become more so if the process is dragged out – and dialog helps keep both tensions and costs to a minimum.
The key to handling employee injuries properly involves being properly insured before anything happens, taking direct action in the aftermath of an injury, and being a helpful and open communicator during any workers’ compensation claim or legal affair. Employers who follow this advice closely can expect the best possible outcome in any given employee injury.