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By Michael Culmer
Every year, more than 4.1 million Americans suffer a work place injury according to WorkStar.com.
To protect your business and to comply with state job safety standards, it’s important to properly conduct an investigation should an employee suffer an injury on the job.
Following the tips below will help protect your business in the event of an employee injury.
1. Don’t Waste Time
It’s important to start the injury investigation as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get accurate witness statements for the report. That’s why it’s essential to start the report ASAP. However, you’ll want to wait until everyone has received medical attention before starting.
2. Use Your Resources
Your investigation doesn’t have to be a one-person job. Use any staff that is properly trained in human resources to assist with the investigation and report. Someone should also be trained to inform family members of the injured party about the incident. This will help to ensure the process moves smoothly.
3. Secure the Accident Area
Just like a crime scene, you’ll want to secure the area where the injury took place. This is your chance to take pictures and videos. The only people permitted in the secure area should be:
You’ll also want to place any types of evidence in plastic containers. If you have a security camera surveillance system, you’ll want to check the footage to see what happened.
4. Get Witness Statements
It’s important to get witness statements as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that witnesses will forget things. Have a witness write down an account of what happened. You might even want to get a video or audio statement. When interviewing witnesses, you’ll want to talk with them separately to get objective statements.
5. Interview the Injured Party
If the injured party is physically able to give a statement, it’s very important to talk with them. Get their account of what happened for the records. Be sure to wait until the employee has had a chance to receive medical treatment.
6. Fill Out Occupational Injury Forms
Once you’ve gathered all of the information, you’re going to want to fill out an occupational injury form with your state. Many states want this form turned in as soon as possible. Some require submission within a few days of knowledge of the injury. Be sure to check with your state agency to get more details. You’ll want to double-check the form for errors before sending it in.
7. Train Your Employees
In the end, it all comes down to training. You and your HR employees should be properly trained to handle an employee injury investigation. Take the time to properly teach your team how to handle employee injury procedures and documentation.
Don’t think an accident can’t happen at your business. Following these tips will help protect your businesses from government fines and potential lawsuits. The end goal should be identifying the source of the injury to prevent similar sorts of situations in the future.
About the Author: Michael Culmer is President of Hue & Cry Security Systems, a
security camera surveillance system
access control system
company that serves homeowners and businesses in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Find out more at www.HueAndCry.com.