As a business owner, you have an onus of responsibility to make your workplace and your working practices as safe as possible for your employees. Nonetheless, accidents at work can and do happen unfortunately and could leave your firmwide open to costly legal claims.
Consequently, if a member of your team is injured at work, it’s vital you follow some basic steps – both from the point of view of protecting them but also to minimize the risk of potential legal challenges against you or your company further down the line.
Develop a Plan of Emergency
By their very nature, the vast majority of accidents are unexpected and happen completely out of the blue. In the heightened state of anxiety caused by an accident, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to maintain a clear focus; so you must develop a plan in advance for steps to take in the event of a workplace accident or employee injury.
At the very minimum, you should position first aid kits around your business, but you should also ensure you have staff members already trained in basic first aid techniques. If your workplace involves heavy machinery or more dangerous work, you should also appoint a safety officer and train employees on what they should do in the event of an accident.
Speed of Response
Depending on the type of accident or injury, the speed of response could mean the difference between life and death, so you must respond as quickly as possible. While all accidents are different, key steps you should take include:
Check on the injured and make the scene safe: Make sure the injured are as safe as possible and moved clear of any dangerous areas. You also need to ensure other employees stay clear.
Assess quickly: Make a detailed but quick assessment of the situation, including the severity of the accident and the potential for further injury.
Check on injuries and call for help if required: Check the severity of any injuries and, if the damage goes beyond the scope of simple first aid, call the emergency services. Remember too that employees are often in a state of shock and can’t adequately understand the severity of their injuries, so be sure to make your own assessment.
Take notes: Once you’re sure the injured (and any other staff) are completely safe from harm, you should take notes of exactly what happened while everything is still fresh in your head. You should also note down witness accounts, take photos and gather evidence, as this can all reduce your liability later.
Clear the point of the accident: If you’re sure you’ve followed the points above, you’ll want to clear the scene of the accident to make it safe again. Let R2FW, a biohazard cleanup Phoenix based company handle your biohazard and trauma scene cleanup with care and consideration.
Make Sure You Stay in Contact With the Employee, Doctors, Attorney, etc
All cases are different, and you may find an employee might not want to take things any further in terms of liability claims. However, if they do, you should stay in contact with them and their relevant representatives. Accident at work claims can run into millions, so you’ll want to stay as in the loop as possible – plus also make sure you hire an attorney if action is being taken against you.