Dealing with Accidents in the Workplace: A Guide for New Managers

Whether you have been entrusted with managing a business or are setting up your own company, one thing that you will need to be prepared for is accidents in the workplace. While the good news is that following all health and safety guidelines carefully, making sure that employees are educated on hazards and how to avoid accidents, and making prevention and safety a top priority for everybody can drastically reduce the number of accidents experienced in your workplace, the fact is that there is always the risk that they can happen. Here are the steps to take if an accident occurs at work. 

Be Committed to Workplace Safety

First and foremost, prevention is always better than a cure when it comes to workplace accidents and injuries. Whether you are a manager or an employer, taking steps to ensure that the entire workplace is committed to upholding everybody’s health and safety is crucial. Employers and managers can influence a range of different factors that contribute to the satisfaction, confidence, and ability to return to work of an injured employee, along with any claim costs. By making safety a priority, you can not only help to reduce the number of workplace accidents in your business but also ensure that, if one occurs, the impact is lessened as much as possible. Establish strong relationships with local medical providers and have a clear return-to-work program in place to make it easier for employees to recover after any type of workplace injury that requires time off work. 

Care for the Employee First

The safety of your employees should always come first. In the event of an accident, the main priority should be to ensure that the injured employee gets the treatment that they need as quickly as possible. This could be as simple as getting out the first aid kit to treat a minor injury or calling 911 in an emergency situation. In a situation that is not an emergency but will require more than your first aid kit has to offer, you should know where the nearest medical care facility is to transport your employee to see a professional. 

Secure the Scene

When a serious accident occurs in the workplace, the site should be secured as quickly as possible so that it can be investigated to find out what happened, how it happened, and how a repeat can be prevented in the future. You should limit access as much as possible to the scene of the accident to avoid any secondary accidents and make sure that any materials or equipment involved in the incident are secured and saved. 

Complete Paperwork

Once you are happy that your employee is safe and getting treatment and the scene of the accident is secure, you should now complete any necessary paperwork. Most workers’ compensation policies will require that you complete an incident report and report the claim within twenty-four hours of the accident. Employers are required to keep records of any work-related illnesses and injuries; this can be done using OSHA form 300. If you’ve just taken over as a manager or are running a new business, you will need to get workers’ compensation as a priority. Affordable workers compensation insurance will cover you and your employees in the event of a workplace accident. 

Help the Employee Return to Work

Many workplace injuries can result in the affected employee taking weeks or even months off from their job to recover. The longer that your employee has to take off from work due to an injury, the harder their return to work can be. It’s a good idea to establish a return-to-work program that is designed to help employees ease back into the workplace after taking time off due to an injury. This is usually in the form of a flexible arrangement, such as working part-time or taking on fewer responsibilities, to make it easier for the employee to return to their job and transition back to working life without having to dive back in all at once. 

Accidents and injuries in the workplace can be preventable with the right health and safety standards, but sometimes they can be unavoidable. For all new managers and business owners, preparing for the event of a workplace injury will help you maintain better relationships with your employees and handle serious situations with confidence. 

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