Every day at work can start to feel the same. When an accident involving your employees happens on the job, however, it’s a jolt to your daily routine. Despite the chaos and confusion, you must know what to do after an accident in the workplace. Here’s how to sort through the chaos and restore order.
In the immediate aftermath of a workplace accident, ascertain the health and safety of your employees. Treating an injury after an accident can range from deploying your on-site first aid kit to seeking medical care. In some cases, you may need to dial 911 and arrange for transportation to a medical facility. Following this, take care to prevent secondary or subsequent accidents resulting from the initial incident. Keep other employees away from the scene.
File the Paperwork
You must be transparent with insurance agencies and regulatory bodies in the wake of an accident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, regulates safety in American workplaces. You must complete and file an incident report under OSHA Form 300 within 24 hours of an incident for record-keeping purposes. In addition, you should file a claim with your insurer for workers’ compensation purposes. Again, do so quickly—promptness is as important as transparency.
Determine the Cause
Accidents happen, but you can take steps to prevent them. Investigate the root cause of the accident—whether it’s mechanical error or human error. Mishandled machinery, poor hand-eye coordination, or slowed reaction time could result from illicit drug use. While this is by no means a presumption of drug abuse among employees, you can’t immediately disqualify the possibility. To cover all your bases, consider drug testing in the wake of a workplace accident.
Reduce Likelihood of Future Accidents
One of the most important things you can do after an accident in the workplace is make sure it doesn’t happen again. This could mean increased safety measures, an investment in expanded personal protective equipment, or a fresh emphasis on continuing safety education. Keeping incidents to a minimum leads to a profitable and comfortable workplace.