When an employee suffers a workplace injury, it’s easy for employers to panic and not know what to do next. In 2019, a total of 229,410 workplace injuries caused by items and equipment were serious enough to require time off work. Workplace injuries can be devastating and cause long-term pain, so it’s important that employers have a plan in place to handle them. The following steps should be followed immediately after an injury occurs:
1. Get Medical Attention
If necessary, dial 911 and make sure all injured parties are treated by medical professionals as soon as possible. Employees receiving medical attention immediately can help them receive their medical diagnosis and recover faster without missing work.
2. Keep Open Communication with the Injured Worker
Most states require companies to carry workers’ compensation insurance or carry their own insurance for workers’ compensation. Although workers’ compensation benefits vary between states, they usually cover the loss of wages if you had to miss work, medical expenses, and rehabilitation including physical therapy.
To make the claims process go as smoothly as possible between the insurance company and the injured employee, maintain open and responsive communication. Keep everyone updated on what’s going on in the claims process to help a worker recover from their injuries. For workers’ compensation reimbursement, you may need to remind your employees that the expenses they incurred due to their work injuries should be tracked. If you are one of our clients, we coordinate and manage communication with all parties involved and help streamline the workers’ compensation process.
3. Review Workers’ Safety Laws and Procedures
Communication between employees and the organization is vital to ensuring a safe workplace. If there are any new workplace safety guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, discuss them with your HR department. Put in place an internal communication system for new safety guidelines such as regular emails or a bulletin board in the breakroom.
Work to create safety documents that detail your workers’ compensation process and return-to-work policies for all employees. Make sure all employees understand their rights under worker’s comp laws. Inform them about where they can go for more information such as your state’s labor department and workers’ compensation agency.
Ensure Your Workplace Stays Safe for All
Safe work environments are important for both employers and workers. Employers should get adequate medical attention for injured employees and maintain open communication with them during the process of recovery. They must comply with safety regulations to provide all their workers with a safe working environment and to inform them of their legal rights. Taking all these steps fosters trust and confidence that worker wellbeing is a priority.