Any firm can attest to the fact that work injuries are commonplace; in the US, an astounding 4.7 million workers get injuries annually. Furthermore, it makes no difference in whatever industry your company works in. The possibility of an accident or injury exists no matter what kind of work you do—desk jobs in an office or dangerous manufacturing jobs.
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If an injury happens at the workplace or any other site where personnel are employed by the company, it is said to be work-related. Typical reasons for work-related injuries include:
Falls and slips (which can result in anything from little cuts to shattered bones or even fatalities)
Overexertion (inappropriate lifting of large things, repetitive motion ailments such as carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.)
auto accidents that occur while workers drive for work-related reasons
Worker entanglement in or behind a big equipment is known as machine entanglement.
As an employer, it is your duty to take care of the employee in such a situation by arranging for medical attention on their behalf. In order to stop such injuries from happening in the future, you must also look into the situation and take appropriate action.
The actions that you as an employer should do in the event of a work injury will be described in this article.
Step 1: Establish an Incident Response Plan
The most crucial actions you can take to prevent a job injury have to be taken well in advance of the actual accident. Even while it’s not feasible to stop every incidence, you should nevertheless take all the necessary safety measures to reduce the risks and minimize workplace injuries. Of course, since accidents still happen, you still need to obtain workers’ compensation coverage, as required by law in the majority of states, and have a strategy in place for handling such injuries if they happen.
Developing a response strategy for sickness or injuries and teaching staff members on how to implement it might also be beneficial. Verify that the plan conforms with the guidelines established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and that it assigns roles for providing the wounded worker with emergency medical attention, informing the appropriate authorities, and other associated tasks. In addition to the plan, it would be beneficial to have the appropriate paperwork on hand, such as consent papers for medical treatment, incident report forms, and return-to-work release forms, as job-related injuries include a number of legal and insurance-related obligations.
Step 2: Take Emergency Action Right Away
This is what should happen as soon as a worker reports or sustains a job injury. Adhere to your incident response strategy if you have one in place. The following advice might be useful:
To make sure that nobody else is in imminent danger, try to determine what triggered the occurrence. Make sure that nobody enters the area if it’s still unsafe, with the exception of properly trained individuals wearing safety gear.
If it is safe for them to move, try to give the wounded worker some space by relocating them to a quiet location or emptying the area if moving is not safe.
To determine the extent of medical treatment needed, enlist the assistance of a worker who has received first aid training.
If the injury is mild, give onsite care and inquire if the worker would prefer an ambulance. In case of a severe work-related injury, promptly dial 911 to transport the injured party to the closest medical institution.
Give the injured worker any paperwork they will need if medical attention is necessary. This includes insurance-related paperwork and documents requesting return to work authorization, which the worker’s physician must sign off on before they can resume their job.
Step 3: Notify the Appropriate Authorities of the Work Injury
A thorough incident report has to be written as soon as the wounded worker receives the necessary medical care and has had his or her immediate needs met. A description of the event, a list of everyone engaged, any necessary photos, and any other pertinent data should be included. After then, this has to be instantly shared with all the relevant parties.
For example, you are mandated by law to notify the closest OSHA district office of any significant injuries as soon as possible (within 8 hours for fatalities and within 24 hours for hospitalizations, amputations, or loss of vision). It is mandatory to promptly record even minor work-related injuries in the OSHA log 300. The wounded worker’s supervisor, their management coordinator, and—most importantly—the insurance company—which has the right to deny claims—are other pertinent authorities.
Step 4: Look at the Situation
If you need to file a workers’ compensation insurance claim or if the employee chooses to pursue legal action for their injuries, it is imperative that you undertake an incident investigation as soon as possible. Even in cases when there isn’t a major injury that calls for workers’ compensation, it is your responsibility as an employer to investigate the incident’s cause and utilize the information to close any holes in your safety procedures that will shield your staff from future incidents of this kind.
Interview the wounded employee and any witnesses, if feasible, to get pertinent facts about the incident while everyone’s memories are still fresh. If applicable, take photos of the situation, gather tangible proof, and, if it’s accessible, watch any available video footage. Examine the gathered data to determine the incident’s primary cause and take the appropriate action to keep it from happening again.
To facilitate the investigation of the occurrence and stop more work injuries, use a digital incident management solution like occmedmd.
Step 5: If necessary, file a workers’ compensation claim
The worker has a legal entitlement to workers’ compensation payments if the employment injury is severe enough to need hospitalization and medical expenditures. Assist the wounded worker in submitting a workers’ compensation claim to the insurance company, and make sure they have the documentation they need regarding the occurrence. After that, they will assess the claim to see if it qualifies for compensation under the workers’ compensation statutes in your state.
Encouraging open communication between the injured worker, their doctor, the claims adjuster, and the insurance company is a smart idea throughout this process. This can expedite the procedure and guarantee that your worker receives the benefits to which they are legally entitled on time.
In the event that a claim is compensable, the insurance plan would normally pay for pertinent medical costs, pay for time lost from work, and provide temporary disability benefits if the required absence is longer than seven days until the worker is able to return following the necessary vocational rehabilitation.
Step 6: Assist the Worker in Going Back to Work
Lastly, follow up with your employee and collaborate with them to create a customized return to work plan to demonstrate your concern for them. Create a strategy to gradually reintegrate them into the workforce while taking into account their present skills and obtaining the required release documents from their physician. For example, give them less or reduced responsibilities while they heal, then decide to raise the responsibilities as they improve, working with their doctor as needed. An automated return to work solution can help you customize a program to meet the individual needs of the employee and streamline this procedure.
After a Work Injury, Use a Digital Platform to Make Things Easier
Both the employers and the wounded workers experience stress as a result of work-related events and injuries. During this time, you have a lot on your plate. You have to take care of your employee, report the incident legally, investigate the incident, take action to stop similar injuries from happening in the future, and file a workers’ compensation claim with your insurance provider.
Your load would be reduced if you managed your complete claims lifecycle using a digital platform like occmedmd’s Claims Management platform. The system offers a mechanism to record injuries and generate reports that are pertinent to the insurance claim, including the actual claim paperwork and pertinent OSHA data. Using a single, user-friendly platform that has capabilities like digital review procedures, correspondence management, expenditure monitoring, and bespoke claims analytics, it also enables you to report, manage, and track all of your claims.