6 What Do I Do’s When an Employee Is Injured at Work?
Employee injuries on the job are serious. In situations where an employee gets injured, there are certain steps that can be taken to make the situation easier for everyone. These steps can include providing first aid, documenting the incident, following HIPAA regulations, how to avoid retaliation charges, and much more. Following this simple guide can take some of the stress out of an already unfortunate situation.
Providing First Aid
Before taking any other action, it is important that the person who is with the injured employee, finds them, or is the first person to respond to their call for help (hereafter referred to as “helper”) does anything and everything they can do to help the injured person (hereafter referred to as “the injured”). The helper should provide first aid to the best of their abilities and appropriate to the situation. Mainly, according to Chesapeake AED Services, the helper should try to assist the injured in any way possible until medical personnel arrives on-scene.
When someone at work is injured, the next thing to do after providing first aid and making sure the person is in good hands or is not in any immediate danger is to record the details of the injury and incident. According to Bruscato Law, it’s important to make sure to carefully record the details of the injury and incident and keep the report somewhere safe and secure, usually in the employee’s file. Having this documentation will protect the company in the event an affected party decides to handle the matter legally. Be sure that the actions that were taken following the incident, along with the way the document is filled out, follow the HIPAA regulations for your company.
When an incident happens, it is important to always be on the same page with the injured employee, anyone else involved, and any outside persons involved. If the injured employee has to leave work, according to Watkins Insurance, it is important for the supervisor or whoever is in charge of the matter to keep in touch with the employee regarding their wellbeing and the status of their injury. Good communication helps the employer know when the injured will be able to return to work and also helps the employee feel that the employer cares about them.
Handling Crises Among Employees
Sometimes, incidents can turn into accidents, which can turn into permanent injuries or worse, fatalities. When these unfortunate occurrences happen, the other staff members may sometimes need extra support due to losing one of their own. If some employees witnessed the incident that caused the permanent injury or death of their coworker—or worse, witnessed the death itself—they will most likely be in need of professional support. If possible, make this support available to them at the office so they do not have to try and make time for it outside of work.
Avoiding Retaliation Charges
Sometimes, the injured employee might decide to press charges on a person, the company they work for, or a company whose products were involved in their getting injured. However, no matter who the charges are filed against, it could be trouble for the company. According to CBRI, if the charges are filed against the company, this costs them time, money, and maybe even reputation. Filing charges against another employee or witness who may have been involved in the incident hurt the company as well, as this person might decide to file charges against the company once charges are filed against them.
Filing charges against a third-party company due to their equipment or services could also cause problems for the company, as this may hurt their relationship with the vendor, and they may have to go elsewhere and pay more for this product/service. These possible consequences can be avoided by all responsible parties taking extra care to ensure they are following all safety measures, as well as the supervisors ensuring all products are in the best condition and being used properly, and ensuring services are being carried out properly.
Applying This Knowledge to the Future
One of the best ways to prevent incidents from happening in the future is to ensure the staff and any contractors are well aware of and trained on the company’s policies, HIPAA’s regulations, and how to properly use products and carry out services. As unfortunate as it is, these policies and procedures were put into place as the result of accidents and incidents that called for them. Ensuring everyone in the establishment is properly trained will immensely cut down on accidents, incidents, casualties (hopefully, this one is extremely rare) and promote all-around better productivity in the future.
While being injured on the job is unfortunate, all parties involved can reach a desired conclusion when the situation is handled properly. How we respond to work injuries sets the tone for how the situation will be carried out—whether it will be handled with respect, whether the right steps will be taken, etc. This is why it is important for someone on the staff to be familiar with first aid. If we can lessen the extent of the injuries, we are already ahead of the game. Everything that happens after the initial first aid depends on how well the employees and employers know the company’s policies as well as HIPAA’s regulations. Staying educated on these topics can make for a smoother and safer work environment.