Hurt on the Job: An Employer's Action Plan for Workplace Injuries
by NicoleD, Former Moderator
- Created: March 23, 2010, 11:14 pm
- Updated: February 10, 2011, 4:40 pm
As an employer, you have a responsibility to maintain a safe work environment, but accidents can happen even in the safest of workplaces. If one of your employees becomes injured on the job, do you have a plan?
For employers, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) ensures that every working man and woman in the nation has safe and healthful working conditions.
Ensure that all your safety measures are adequate and up-to-date. Additional regulations impact certain high-risk industries.
Use workplace posters to educate employees. The Department of Labor advises that all employers must post a federal or state OSHA poster to provide their employees with information on their safety and health rights. You can download and print posters in English or Spanish.
When an employee is injured on the job...
Seek medical attention. Above all, make sure that an injured employee receives the appropriate medical care. This is important to not only ensure their well-being, but because you could face a lawsuit if you prevent or neglect adequate medical attention.
Write up an accident report. As soon as possible, detail the steps that took place after the injury. Talk with employees who witnessed the injury, take photos of the accident scene, etc. You'll want this information for your own records, but also to help you comply with OSHA accident reporting and recordkeeping polices. OSHA has limited recordkeeping requirements for low-hazard industries and very small businesses (employers with 10 or fewer employees).
Provide workers' compensation reports, if applicable. Workers' compensation systems are managed differently depending on your state. For state-by-state details, see the Department of Labor's Office of Worker Compensation Programs.
Assess liability. Depending on the situation and the severity of injuries sustained, you may need to offset medical expenses and provide short or long term disability leave for an injured employee. If an injury occurs as a result of an OSHA violation, you may be required to provide additional benefits and compensation. OSHA takes the size of the employer and other factors into consideration when assessing violations and penalties. Read on for OSHA's small business penalty-reduction policies. Contact an attorney if you are concerned about liability issues.
OSHA e-Advisors - interactive tools that walk employers through OSHA standards and help identify potential workplace hazards
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