Just like pretty much anywhere else, it is probable that sooner or later an accident happens at your workplace. The important thing to keep in mind is that no matter whether the situation happened because you were negligent as an employer, or your employee didn’t take proper care, you are the one that needs to take action and protect them.
If your negligence was the reason that the accident happened, you might face legal liability. On the other hand, if the way your employee behaved on their own led to harm, you are still the one person responsible for taking the necessary actions, and making sure that they are safe, if this happened on the grounds of your workplace, during the working hours.
Be prepared for a situation
For starters, it is the best idea that you are already prepared for a possibility of an employee of yours getting injured. Take care of anything that might be a safety risk in your workplace, and train everyone on safety and emergency response plans. There should be a first-aid kit fully stocked with supplies available and easy to reach in your workplace.
It would be wise to come up with response plans for different kinds of accidents. Finally, make sure that every employee’s file has an emergency contact, and preferably, assign a person who is going to be an officer for the jobs that are especially dangerous.
Get medical help right away
The logical first thing that you need to do is call for medical attention. In the case that your employee’s life is in danger and in need of an emergency attention, you should also call the police. While it isn’t always obvious whether the person that was hurt really needs emergency care, you should make the call regardless, just to be safe.
If your worker gets hurt while doing their job, and you don’t call for medical assistance, you can get sued. The best thing you can do is reassure the employee to go for a medical check-up, even if they “believe that they are fine”.
File a report
As soon as you have made sure that your employee has got the necessary medical attention, you need to sit down and do your own part according to protocol. You need to know that an injured worker can decide to file a claim, and you are the one that is supposed to make sure that there is a claim form in stock if they ask for it. If a claim has been made, it will be necessary to report what happened to the workers’ compensation insurance company.
The general case is that you will need to file a First Report of Injury or Illness. Next to that, make sure that you note down any info that might be of use if a lawsuit is filed against you. Have a talk with other employees who witnessed the accident, note down what you think about the whole situation, make sure that you have every statement on record, and, of course, take pictures. It is useful to have this information in your records.
Cooperate with your employee’s compensation
It is of an essence that you do your best be cooperative with the compensation carrier and the lawyers of your injured employee, in the case that a claim does get pursued. Work compensation lawyers are there for aiding the worker, and they will need to be provided with all the necessary files and documents about them, so take care of it right away. Still, while they have the right and do need to see those papers, you should not give any documents or records to anyone other than them. If, for example, a situation happens where another lawyers call you and claim that they are representing your employee, you should contact the worker’s compensation carrier right away to clear things out.
As an employer, you are the one who is responsible when your employee gets injured, no matter whose “fault” it is. You need to mitigate your workplace in order to make it as safe as possible for your staff. If an accident happens, you must call for medical help immediately. After that, it is your obligation to file a report and cooperate with the worker’s compensation carrier and lawyers.