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What to do if an employee reports a workplace injury

Even though you do your best to protect your employees and keep them safe, you never know when someone may suffer an injury on the job. Should that happen, it’s critical that you take all the right steps at the right time.

Here are five things you should do:

  • Get help: For example, if an employee requires an ambulance, call 911 so paramedics arrive at the scene as quickly as possible. Also, keep a first-aid kit on hand, as this allows you to provide basic assistance until help arrives.
  • Assess the accident scene: Don’t wait to visit the scene of the accident, take photos and learn more about what went wrong. This will give you a better idea of the cause, while also helping to keep the rest of your workers safe.
  • Talk to other employees: If anyone was on the scene when the employee was injured, ask them what happened and record their answers. You want to gather as much information as you can, as the facts will help you should the employee file a workers’ compensation claim.
  • Know your OSHA obligations: In the event of a serious injury or death, you’re required by law to file a report with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
  • Report the injury to your workers’ compensation insurance company: Even though you don’t want to do this, you shouldn’t delay. They’ll ask that you complete an accident report that outlines the incident, the facts you’ve gathered and any other pertinent information. Don’t delay in reporting the injury and make sure that all the information you provide is truthful.

Along with the above, take steps to prevent future issues. For example, if a particular piece of equipment caused the accident, find out why and then implement protocols for avoiding the same in the future.

It’s your hope that you never have to deal with a workers’ compensation claim, but it’s likely that this will happen at some point. As frustrating at it may be, this is all part of running a business. With the right coverage and knowledge of your legal rights, you won’t feel overwhelmed by the process.

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