How to Navigate an Injury at Work

No matter how vigilant you are about maintaining safety in the workplace, you can’t always avoid accidents. It’s important to know how to respond when one of your employees suffers an injury on the job.

Properly training staff on workplace safety is important. As one Philadelphia workers compensation lawyer points out, these injuries can be costly, “as most injuries or illnesses that…have been caused by an accident or condition at the workplace” will be covered by your worker's compensation plan.

The following tips will help protect your workers. Keep them in mind, and you’ll find it’s much easier to establish priorities in these situations.

Get Help

Obviously, the most important thing to do when an employee gets hurt is to get them medical attention as soon as possible. Call 911, and if you or anyone nearby is qualified, perform any feasible first-aid procedures.

Once the employee is in the hands of medical professionals, block off the area to ensure as few people as possible can enter it. OSHA recommends investigating the conditions at the accident site whenever an employee gets injured or is almost injured. You don’t want anyone to tamper with the area, as it may impact the results of the investigation.

Do the Paperwork

OSHA enforces a Recordkeeping Rule that explains when and how employers need to report workplace injuries. The specifics of the rule are not universal. Factors such as the industry in which you work and the severity of the injury all play a role in determining what types of paperwork you’ll need to complete.

As soon as possible, find out what you’re responsible for reporting and take all necessary steps to satisfy OSHA’s requirements.

Modify the Job

If an injury prevents an employee from returning to work for a period of time, you’ll need to decide how you want to go about replacing them in the interim. You could hire and train a new employee, or you could work with other employees who may be able to take on additional responsibilities until their injured coworker returns.

Keep in mind that sometimes employees will be given clearance to return to work before they’re ready to handle all the tasks they originally performed for some time. You may want to develop a return to work program that allows them to gradually take on more responsibilities as they recover. The Department of Labor offers resources to help employers create these programs.

Make Adjustments

After investigating the accident, determine what changes you can make in your procedures or environment to ensure similar incidents don’t occur in the future. Safety protocols should constantly evolve. The more you learn about potential hazards your employees encounter, the better-equipped you are to prevent them.

That’s why preparation is key. When you prioritize safety, you reduce the odds of accidents occurring. Not only that, but you also improve your own ability to respond appropriately if they ever do happen.