There is nothing more devastating than witnessing one of your employees succumb to work-related injuries. Not only does it disrupt the flow of work at the premises, but it also comes with hefty repercussions for your company. Employers are responsible for keeping their employees’ work environment free of any potential hazards, however, accidents do happen despite taking all preventive measures.
So, as an employer, you are held accountable for any workplace injuries. The obligations of an employer in such cases can be complex to understand, thus, you should keep reading to know how to deal with any workplace injuries to avoid any legal complications.
Understand the Types of Workplace Injuries
Not all workplace injuries are treated the same. If you are in the U.S., you are most likely subscribed to the workers’ compensation system, which covers a variety of injuries. The expert lawyers at https://www.tatelawoffices.com/ point out that it can give the employee medical and income benefits as compensation.
However, it does not take into account whose fault it really was. The injuries covered by worker’s compensation are overexertion, slip and trip injuries, machine injuries, and vehicle injuries. Nevertheless, if you are not subscribed to such a compensation system, your employee can file a personal injury claim. The best thing to do is to provide this coverage before the worst comes to worst.
Once you get informed of the occurrence of a workplace injury, you should immediately rush to the accident site. Check the employee for any severe injuries, and call an ambulance even if the injury looks mild. Sometimes, the impact of the accident affects the organs, leading to internal bleeding and other injuries that cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Therefore, it is extremely important not to disregard the accident as a harmless unfortunate event. Doing so will put you in the line of fire because your employee can file a claim stating that you neglected their injuries. Negligence can also exacerbate the injury and even lead to death. So, be responsible, and make sure that your employee gets any needed medical attention.
Handle the Documents
After you make sure your employee is getting enough medical attention, you have to file the first report of injury, describing the cause of the accident and the injuries. Remember, you also have to ask around to find more witnesses, be able to describe the incident in detail, and make sure of what really took place.
After that, you are required to inform your injured employees that they are entitled to file a claim and provide them with the necessary forms. Moreover, you have to notify the worker’s compensation company so that it can initiate the process in case your employer chooses to file the claim.
Most probably, the worker’s compensation company will try to contact you, as they will request some documents about the employee. To facilitate the process, be courteous, and provide them with any details they might need. Refusing to cooperate will not do you any good because it can be used against you and lead to more legal complications. Nonetheless, keep in mind that such documents are confidential and should not be seen by anyone except the worker’s compensation company.
Check-in with Your Employee
This is not a legal requirement, yet it can be a polite, responsible gesture. Check if your employee’s injuries are improving, and ask if they or their family need anything. Your employees will feel that you actually care about their wellbeing and that it is not all about the money for you. It may not heal their injuries any faster, but it will give them some peace of mind during such a difficult time.
Wait for Them to Come Back
Even if your employee chooses to file a claim and get compensated for their injuries, do not hold it against them, as they only asked for their rights. As a responsible employer, you are not allowed to fire your injured employee because that will only spell trouble for you. Offer them their job back without any deductions from their salary. Just do not let resentment get the best of you, and put yourself in their shoes.
Having workplace injuries occur at your premises can dampen the enthusiasm of your other employees and make them hesitant to continue working for you. However, to prevent the situation from getting out of hand, you should be aware of your responsibilities as an employer and inform the injured worker of their rights. Furthermore, you should let an inspection team make sure that your employee’s work environment is safe if you do not wish for any accidents to happen in the first place.