What to do when an Employee is Injured at Work

February 10, 2020
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Employers know that unfortunately workplace accidents happen, employee injuries occur, and workers’ compensation claims need to be reported. During the time after a claim, it can not only be a very stressful time for the injured employee but for the employer as well.

Understanding how to proceed after a workplace injury occurs is essential for employers to help protect their employees and to manage workers’ compensation costs.

What To Do When An Employee Is Injured At Work Infographic
Printable PDF: What to do when an employee is injured at work.

Once a work-related injury occurs, employers should move forward with three goals in mind:

  1. Promoting a Culture of Caring
  2. Accurately and Promptly Reporting the Incident, and
  3. Identifying the Root-Cause Identification and taking Meaningful Corrective Action.

Promoting a Culture of Caring

Employers should always be promoting a culture of caring to their employees, but when a workplace injury occurs it is their responsibility to go above and beyond to make sure employees feel taken care of and receive any necessary medical treatments.

*Under workers’ compensation benefits, most medical expenses incurred from on-the-job injuries will be covered by the insurance carrier, not a penny comes out of the employers or employees pocket.

By not promoting a culture of caring, employers leave themselves susceptible to unhappy employees that can negatively affect their businesses’ morale, especially after a job-related injury.

Once the employer is confident the injured employee receives necessary medical treatment and is okay, it is time to take the employees’ statement and start an incident report.

Accurately and Promptly Reporting the Incident

While taking the employee statement and completing an incident report, employers should be as detailed as possible and include the case facts such as:

  1. Where and When the employee injury occurred,
  2. Who notice was given too,
  3. How the workplace injury occurred,
  4. What body parts were affected,
  5. If medical treatment was received, and if so – who was the medical provider and,
  6. If there was any lost time from work due to the work injury.

*Employers should avoid asking “yes” or “no” questions when taking the statements from employees. By eliminating one-word answer questions, workers tend to give more specific and comprehensive details of the incident, leaving less room for ambiguity when recalling the incident down the road.

It is important to accurately and promptly report the incident to manage the cost of the workers’ compensation claim.

Studies have shown that the longer it takes to report an injury, the more expensive workers’ comp claims become in the long run. Ideally, employers should report the claim within one day, but legally, according to New York Workers’ Compensation laws, they have ten days. After ten days employers are subject to fines by the New York Workers’ Compensation Board.

Identifying the Root-Cause Identification and taking Meaningful Corrective Action

Incident investigations should be done thoroughly to identify the root cause of the workplace accident and to take meaningful corrective action. Root causes can vary such as a leaky pipe creating a slippery floor to improper safety protocols while using power tools.

No matter the severity of the root cause, it must always be identified and meaningful corrective action must always be taken. Eradicating root causes helps prevent the same exact claim from occurring again and further promotes a culture of caring to employees through workplace safety.

Achieving zero work injuries should be your ultimate goal for employers and by following these steps you are well on your way there!