One of the main responsibilities of an entrepreneur is to provide a safe and proper work environment for his employees. This implies creating and following a solid work and safety policy and taking all the necessary measures to prevent work accidents or other unpleasant events from happening in the first place.
Yet no matter how cautious you are when devising your health and safety policy and how much effort you put into creating a risk-free environment for everyone, it’s virtually impossible to eliminate all risks and hazards from the picture. That’s why, as an entrepreneur, you have to be prepared for the worst-case scenarios and think of safety first.
If one of your employees gets involved in a workplace accident, it’s crucial to know which steps to take next, in order to minimize damages both for the employee and for your company. Instead of losing precious time figuring out what the best course of action is, you better get educated on the topic and learn how to handle workplace accidents. So, here’s a short guide on how to manage things should you ever find yourself in such a situation.
When an accident happens, taking immediate action can make a huge difference. So, you need to act fast and provide medical assistance for your employee as soon as possible. In certain situations, if the accident is minor and your employee isn’t severely injured, you can provide help yourself. Having a first aid kit on company premises is mandatory, as is having trained personnel who can perform first aid in the event of a workplace accident.
If the accident was serious and your worker was badly injured, calling the emergency services right away is the first thing you should do. In these situations, your intervention could do more harm than good, so the only thing you can do is take the worker to safety and wait for the medical services to arrive. We recommend providing medical assistance for your employees regardless of the severity of the injury, just to be on the safe side.
Keep your calm
Even the smallest incident can wreak havoc in the workplace. People get scared easily and if one of your workers gets injured, the rest of your employees will probably panic and create a bit of chaos. That can make things a lot worse and stop you from thinking clearly and acting promptly.
But that’s exactly what you should do if you want to address the situation effectively and minimize damages. Even if it’s not easy to keep calm when things go wrong, remember that losing your temper won’t help you in the least. No matter how bad the situation seems to be, you have to maintain your composure, approach the situation calmly and act rationally.
Report the accident
Once you’ve made sure your employee is safe and he’s been provided the necessary medical attention, you can finally focus on the more technical aspects of the problem, and by that we mean you have to report the accident.
As soon as you are able to, contact your insurance provider and tell them what happened. Make sure you provide an accurate report of the event and try not to leave any important details out. Chances are your employee will make a claim against you, so you have to talk to your insurance provider about that possibility and about the necessary procedures in case that happens.
Don’t ignore small incidents
As the experts at UK Law explain, slips, trips and falls are amongst the most common accidents that can cause personal injuries in the workplace, and they can lead to very serious consequences for both employees and employers if left unattended. Since they’re so common, people don’t always report them and they can go under the radar.
A lot of small accidents can go unnoticed, as people can sometimes underestimate the seriousness of a work accident. Don’t be that person who ignores minor work injuries, assuming your employees will just be alright. Adopt a safety-first approach and treat every slip, trip, fall or bruise with the utmost attention. If it turns out it’s nothing serious, you won’t lose anything anyway. This will ensure your worker’s safety and give you peace of mind.
Watch out for scams
You should definitely treat every accident with seriousness and make sure your employees get medical assistance, fair compensation and everything they need to protect their health and wellbeing. But you should also keep an eye out for scams. Sometimes employees will try to trick you into believing they’ve suffered an injury at work when in fact they’re just trying to earn some easy money.
It’s only natural to give your employee the benefit of the doubt, but it’s just as normal to want to protect yourself and your company from falling victim to a scam. So, the wisest thing to do is to analyse all the details of the accident accurately and get a report from a medical professional to make sure no one is trying to take advantage of you.
Check on your employee
If your employee was indeed injured and is now in recovery, the ethical thing to do is to check on his condition to make sure he’s doing alright. You might have to replace your employee temporarily, so checking on his health condition will also help you estimate the period of time you’ll have to replace him.
Also, you have to be prepared for when the employee is ready to come back to work and take the necessary measures to make the transition easier for him.
Learn from mistakes
A workplace accident is never a pleasant event. But you can view this as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and make sure nothing similar will happen from that point on. Accidents big and small can help you identify the risks and hazards in your company and update your safety policy, so you can address them better in the future.