An Employee Hurt at Work? Here’s What New Business Owners Need to Know
by Arina Smith Management 03 May 2018
Running a business may be an exciting venture, but with it comes responsibility. You must be responsible to both the public and your employees.
Whether you’re still planning a business or you recently jumped into a business venture, knowing what to do when an employee gets injured is vital.
When an employee gets hurt at work there are specific laws and guidelines that must be followed.
If you’re thinking that it’s too much of a hassle to worry about injuries before they even occur, think again.
Workplace injuries may happen more often than you think. In 2016, more than 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported. It’s probably safe to assume that most, if not all, of these issues were not expected.
Don’t get caught off guard when an employee injury inevitably comes around. Keep reading to learn how to handle employees getting hurt at work.
So Your Employee Got Hurt at Work :
While no company wants to face this situation, it’s far better to be prepared for employee injury than to assume or pretend it won’t happen at your company. In fact, there are laws for employers regarding employee safety.
First things first, if one of your employees gets hurt at work, seek medical help if needed. Allow for immediate care, or for the employee to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible.
Once the incident has occurred, gather the facts. Interview others who may have witnessed the accident. Check video surveillance for proof or lack of proof.
Having all the facts regarding the situation gathered to a central location will help with the legal side of things, which you will definitely have to deal with.
As an employer, you are responsible to file a report so workers’ compensation can kick in. In your report, explain things from your side and include any doubts you may have.
Know the Laws :
Several laws govern employee injuries and what to do when they occur. Besides filing a report, there are rules each employer must follow.
Significantly, you may not penalize an employee for getting hurt at work. Doing so can result in legal action against your company.
Make sure all employees know how to report a claim and make it clear that they are able to. Don’t make the process intimidating and keep everything on the up-and-up.
If injuries occur, be patient with the process. Claims may take months to be finalized, but you need to stick the process out. Taking shortcuts can damage both your business and employees’ welfare, and it is illegal.
Openly adhering to safety laws and ensuring your employees do as well will invite better relationships with your employees as well as satisfy the public.
You are also responsible to be on the lookout for fraud, both from the employee and from those running the company. You may be tempted to hide information in order to save face with the public, but don’t. It’s not worth the risk.
If workplace safety laws are not followed or are only partially followed, vast legal consequences may arise. Fines, insurance increases, bad publicity, and loss of workers may all result from poorly followed workforce safety rules.
Be actively concerned with your employees’ welfare. Doing so may prevent physical pain, financial strain, and even loss of life for your employees.
Legal counsel is available for your company and may be very useful. The laws surrounding workers’ compensation can be tricky, so having some guidance is never a bad idea.
US Attorneys are also available to aid your employees. Don’t fight your employees’ right to this aid.
Prepare Your Workplace :
One of the best ways to deal with an employee getting hurt at work is to prevent the issue in the first place. While accidents can still occur, having an accident-prevention plan in place is invaluable, and even required.
Look around your workplace with an attitude of assuming injury will happen. Consider potential problems and implement means to prevent them. Also, have a plan for if/when injuries occur.
Ensure that all employees are aware of safety procedures and are following them. Don’t be so focused on production and success that you put your employees at risk. Provide safety training on an ongoing basis, and make sure safety rules are visible at all times.
Regularly assess the actions of your employees and the maintenance of your workplace to ensure safety regulations are being implemented properly.
Provide injury prevention for employees, whether that’s giving desk workers opportunities to get up and move their bodies, or providing safety gear and clothing.
Be aware of unsafe or unsanitary conditions that could cause injury or illness. Prevent clutter and other situations that could lead to falls, trips, or slides. These are common causes of workplace injuries.
Ensuring your employees are capable of performing the work you require is paramount. Before hiring, perform physicals or other needed assessments to ensure the fitness of each employee for the job.
After hiring, make sure your employees know how to use all equipment, machinery, or other work materials that could cause potential injuries.
Research common workplace accidents, especially those that frequently occur in the same type of businesses that you run. Thinking ahead can help prevent many workplace accidents.
Don’t Delay Action :
Ongoing injury prevention is key when it comes to owning a business. Don’t wait until an employee gets hurt to learn what your responsibilities are.
Workplace accidents are serious matters and should not be taken lightly. While many employees are hurt at work each year, yours don’t have to be among those numbers.
Preparing both your workplace and employees ahead of time could ultimately save you a lot of hassle, as well as keep your employees safe. Implement safety strategies and training and make sure you keep them up to date.
Stay aware of your workplace and what goes on there. Don’t assume your plans are being put into effect and that they’re working. Make sure they are.
If an employee does get injured in your workplace, spring to action, don’t wait. Take care of your employee by upholding the law and genuinely caring about the employee’s wellbeing.
Swiftly taking care of any injuries that do occur in your workplace will show your employees and the public that you mean to uphold the law properly.
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