Anyone who owns a small business needs to know the right way to handle workplace accidents. Of course, the primary responsibility of owners is to maintain a safe environment at all times. However, in an imperfect world, accidents can happen even under the best of circumstances. But in addition to striving for a safe job site, business owners must remember to keep their business insurance up to date and to have legal help at the ready just in case the unexpected happens. Having a safety plan can also help everyone involved react quickly and reduce the damage of any accident.
The first thing to do when an on-the-job injury occurs is to contact medical help. For legal, ethical and many other reasons, the well-being of the worker must come first. An owner or a company employee should contact emergency medical assistance as quickly as possible and make certain that the injured person is kept comfortable and safe until professional help arrives.
It's also imperative to remove other workers from an area where danger might exist. Too often, one workplace accident becomes two or three because the hazard, such as a fire or slippery surface, hurts more people shortly after the initial incident. Owners need to be ever mindful of getting everyone to safety and minimizing the potential risk posed to others once an accident occurs.
Of vital importance is the collection of relevant data about the accident. This task needs to be done as quickly as possible after the safety of all people at the job site is assured, and medical help has been contacted. What information should you collect? Write down any details about the accident, including the names of anyone who was hurt, how the accident happened and the exact time of the incident. Also, remember to take photos of the location, gather names of any direct witnesses and make a detailed summary of the injuries that were inflicted. This information could be very important if it goes to court, depending on the type of personal injury suit filed. Equally important is that your business insurance coverage is in place and fully paid up at the time of the accident.
Keep All Lines of Communication Open
As a business owner, it's your responsibility to keep lines of communication open between yourself, your legal team, the injured worker, the worker's representatives and medical personnel. Be honest and responsive when asked for documentation of the accident, and always make at least two sets of copies of all relevant documentation.
One of the best ways that a company owner can face the prospect of workplace accidents is to have comprehensive safety measures in place. The other half of the safety equation is being sure to maintain the right kind and amount of insurance and having competent legal help at hand. Of course, the ideal situation is to avoid accidents altogether, but when a worker does get hurt on the job, follow the above steps to the letter. That way, you'll be able to rest assured that the injured person receives medical help as soon as possible and that your legal liability is minimized.
Alliance is an expert risk management firm that can help you develop your safety program over time. Workers compensation insurance is essential to every business with an employee and is best discussed with experts. Reach out to one of our experts today here.