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How to respond to workplace injuries as an employer

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Based on the nature of your business and the capacity in which the workforce functions, many different types of workplace injuries may be encountered by employees.

Running a successful business brings about a myriad of important responsibilities. Regardless of what you may have to say about most of these responsibilities, employee safety and health must never be ignored.  There is no denying the fact that injuries will happen. However, the outcome of all such incidents is dictated by how you respond.

Common Workplace Injuries:

The nature and likelihood of workplace injuries depend greatly on the industry type. For example, those working in the cubicle of an accounting firm encounter a different nature and degree of risks compared to an auto manufacturing plant’s assembly line workers. Mentioned below are some of the most commonly reported workplace injuries.

It has been observed that overexertion is the most prominent reason for workplace injuries in America. A very high percentage of these accidents are related to activities such as pushing, lifting, pulling, holding, or carrying.  According to a recent study, overexertion related injuries translate into direct costs amounting to $15.1 billion for American businesses every year.

Some other categories of workplace injuries include slip, trip, and fall injuries, vehicle accidents, repetitive motion injuries, and machine entanglement.

Steps to Take When an Employee is Injured on the Job:

Suppose an office worker slips in the washroom and knocks his head against the wall. It is also possible that a company vehicle may hit an employee in the parking lot. While carrying a heavy item, it is possible that a warehouse employee may sustain back injury. These are just a few of the innumerable ways in which your workers may face injury while working.

As the employer, you should make all possible efforts to avoid such incidents. However, regardless of how much effort you put forth, accidents can’t be controlled completely. With that being said, your response to the injury becomes extremely important to the organization.

  • Seek Medical Attention: Your first duty after the accident is to ensure proper medical attention for the injured person. It is quite natural for your mind to be extremely disturbed about the financial repercussions of the injury at your workplace. Failure to arrange immediate medical attention may have a serious negative impact on the health of the injured employee as well as the reputation of your business. If the injury is serious in nature,  call 911 without any delay whatsoever. Always encourage and arrange medical care for the staff, even if the injury doesn’t appear to be serious.
  • File a Report: Once adequate medical assistance has been provided to the injured staff, you should focus on your obligations as the employer. Please remember that an injured employee is within his or her rights to file a claim and employers are legally bound to provide a claim form to them. You will also have to report the entire incident to your workers’ compensation insurance company.
  • Cooperate with Workers’ Compensation: If the claim is pursued, cooperate as much as you can with the carrier. They will probably request you to submit all types of files and documentation related to the employee. Hand over all these documents to them without any delay, but these records must not be provided to anyone else.
  • Welcome the Employee Back: Regardless of what happened with the claim, it is your responsibility to welcome the employee back once he or she is fit enough to resume work. Please remember that an employee can’t be penalized or terminated for filing a claim. This could lead to complex legal issues for you in the future.
  • Prevent Future Issues: Finally,analyze different aspects of the accident and try to figure out how similar incidents can be avoided in the future. Develop ideas that can reduce the risk associated with different activities within the workplace.

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