Injuries at work can often occur and they can sometimes be very serious which can cause a lot of problems. That is why it is very important to know exactly what to do when such accidents happen because nobody wants a serious lawsuit and a bad image for their company, and you do not want that for your business either. There are many things to consider when you face problems like these and you should always be ready to overcome every obstacle along the way. Follow this article to learn what to do in order to overcome the consequences of a serious injury at work.
How Can You Overcome The Consequences Of Serious Work-Related Injuries?
When there are injuries at work, they can bring some serious consequences for you as an employer, and that is why you have to be ready for everything. First of all, you would have to get a good lawyer for whatever type of accident happens. For example, if an employee gets burned, you should hire a burn injury lawyer to see what your options are because there is a big chance they will hire one too. Except for that, there are always many things to do, and there is a lot of paperwork ahead of you no matter what, so you should know exactly what you must do in order to make it easier for yourself to get out of any serious trouble. Here are some tips on how to overcome the consequences of a serious workplace injury.
1) Report The Accident
First of all, you must report any accidents that happen at the place of your business, as well as certain dangerous incidents and diseases. This should be done with the health and safety department at your local authority. Here are the things that must be reported:
- Death of an employee
- Certain dangerous incidents that can create hazards (like gas leaks or if anything collapses)
- Major injuries like broken bones on brain concussions
- Any other type of injuries at work that could possibly prevent the employee from doing the job as they normally do for over three days
- Any case when an employee gets sick
- Make sure these things are always reported, and the first step is definitely done.
2) Recording The Accident
There should always be an accident book at any place of business including yours, and every injury, no matter if it is a big or a minor one, must be recorded in that particular book. This book of records is mainly kept for the sake of the employees and their benefits because it gives you a lot of information on what exactly happened at the time of the accident. It shows that employers actually care for the people working for them. This is what shows what kind of compensation employees are entitled to after the unfortunate accident had happened, and there can be no lies inside of it. This can also help you as an employer because it gives you an insight into what actually happened so that you could prevent things like these from happening to other employees in the future.
3) Health And Safety At Work
As an employer, you will have to carry out a risk assessment and you will have to do everything in your power in order to take care of the health and safety of all your employees and possible visitors like inspectors or clients. Things that this assessment has to include are, for example, how many people providing first aid are actually needed on sight, or how many first aid kits should be given to the employees. While first aiders do not usually get paid extra, some employers also do that in order to motivate them to do the job properly and to make sure everyone knows they care about the people they hire. Remember that it is also the duty of the employee to take care of their own well-being, safety and health while at work.
4) Ensure Sick Pay
No matter what happens, employees are entitled to sick pay, and employers must provide them, as it is their right after all. Sometimes, depending on what has happened and whose fault it is, employers tend to pay extra.
Employees have a right to compensation when they get injured, and they especially have a right to it if it is proven that the employer is at fault. Claims have a time limit and this is the place legal battles usually ensue, so make sure you get a good lawyer like it was mentioned at the beginning of this article. The company must always be insured, and the employees have the right to know every single detail of the policy, remember that. When a lawsuit occurs, there can be a claim for legal damages, so, once again, hire a good lawyer.
5) Taking Care Of The Return-To-Work Program
So, now that you know that the employee is entitled to sick leave after an injury, you should know a couple of other things, and first of all, that there should be a return to work program. Whenever there is an injury, an employee could be gone for weeks or even months from the job. This includes even minor ones like sprains or strains. Remember that the longer they are away, the harder it will be for them to return to their job posts.
A big consequence of an injury at the workplace is that the employee returning will lack productivity and you should make sure that they will be working as well as they did before the accident in the shortest time possible. So, it is the companys’ managers’ job to ensure there is a proper return-to-work program, or at the very least a transitional modified job program. This is done because programs like these will surely help to keep the workers off of any kind of disability that can, in the long run, potentially lower the costs of the employer.
When it comes to the modified or transitional jobs they are a great way to start the return-to-work program. It can be the first step in the means of a full recovery. These arrangements are very flexible and will benefit the employee way more than the employer, but remember, they did suffer an injury working for you, so you have to make sure that their return is as comfortable as it can be. They are designed so that workers who are cleared by medical experts to go back to their job again but are still not so able to do the duties they did before the accident.
These modified or transitional jobs do not even have to include the same department where the injury occurred, only the pay has to be the same at the new position of the employee and have the same amount of work hours.
These ideas are good because the employer does get his or her work back and does not pay them just to lay at home, while the employee is able to provide services for the company they work for, only in another, safer position.
6) Always Care For The Employee First
When you are running a business, you must know that the safety and health of your employee must be in the first place above all other concerns. This especially goes out for when there is a serious injury at the place of work. In those cases, the first thing that has to run through your mind is to give the employee the right treatment as quickly as you can. When there is an emergency, always, no matter what, call 911. When there is no such emergency, it means that there is no rush, but you still have to make sure that your injured worker will be safely transported to a medical care facility.
When such accidents occur you have options on who to consult. You either go with the medical provider that is the choice of the employee, or the closest walk-in clinic to your place of business.
7) Commit To Safety At The Workplace
After an incident occurs it is very important for you to be sure to commit to the safety of every other employer because it will prove that you do indeed care about them. You also do not want to get drowned in lawsuits or have someone call the safety inspector to see what went wrong in the first place.
Employers can influence a lot of factors that in the end help boost the levels of satisfaction of every employee including confidence, the outcome of the program that is designed to get them back to work, and how much it will cost to compensate for the injury someone has suffered at your own place of business.
Safety should be your priority and by making it so, as well as creating a relationship with a medical provider it will be proven that you as an employer are competent and caring enough to make sure no such injuries will ever again happen at your place. This also includes providing injured employees with modified jobs while they are not able to fully recover. It will benefit both you for the image and the fact that there will be no more lawsuits coming your way for the same reason, while you will still have a worker that does things for the company, only from a different position.
8) Preventing Further Injuries
As if the first lawsuit was not enough, imagine what can happen after another employee suffers from the same injury the first one did create huge chaos for you as a business owner. You do not want to pay medical bills and legal fees again, along with filling out paperwork. A second injury of the same type can create less productivity and lower the morale of the workers which can possibly lead to a huge financial decline, and you do not want that to happen to your company.
That is why it is a great idea to start planning on ensuring the safety of all of your employees as soon as something happens so that it would never ever happen again. Here is what you can do in order to avoid further problems at the workplace so that you would not have to face the terrible consequences once again:
- Conduct pre-placement physicals since sometimes, an accident occurs because the worker is not experienced enough to do the job properly, or they are just not physically fit for it. Screen every applicant so that they would not sue you after they have injured themselves.
- Teach the employees to never take shortcuts because skipping a step for efficiency sometimes means a huge injury is cooking up ahead. Create a guide with instructions that everyone has to follow.
- Ensure the place where the accident occurred is completely safe so that nothing unfortunate happens there again.
- After taking care of the place of the accident, it would be smart to ensure that no other place can create a potentially terrible accident that can injure your workers.
- Inspect all company vehicles and keep them up to date so that nothing bad happens to anyone while they are out on the road. Whenever someone reports that something is wrong with a car, truck, forklift, etc, you make sure to bring it right away to the mechanic.
- Provide the workers with all the protective equipment they could possibly need so that even if something does happen, the injuries will not be as big as they could have been if not for the hardhats.
- Make sure you have enough staff for multiple shifts because overworked employees are keener to get into accidents than those who are rested well.
- Create a safety and wellness plan because these programs cover every level of employee safety you can imagine. It will always encourage others to report dangerous practices or behavior.
As you can see, there are many things you could and should do in order to overcome the consequences of serious injuries at work. You should always care for your employees because accidents happen but they must not happen often. In any case, make sure to have a lawyer at your hand because lawsuits might be flying in. Stay safe!