Accidents happen regardless of the precautions taken. A quick response is imperative for the safety of your employees, and getting business back on track.
Before creating your accident preparedness plan, consider including these vital steps.
Create/Review Preventative Measures
Every workplace starts with preventative and safety precautions in place. Unfortunately, when accidents it can mean that the preventative measures in place need to be reviewed or revised in some way.
Often times the best way to establish more thorough safety measures is by asking the employees. They have a good feel for potential dangers, and may have good solutions in mind to help make things safer.
It can also be difficult to get employees to adhere to the new safety requirements.
Pro Tip: Incentives are a good way to encourage them. Either way, getting employees involved in preventative measures decreases the risk of accidents happening in the first place.
The moments after an accident occurs can be critical, and may even mean the difference between life and death.
Getting the injured person(s) to safety with the appropriate medical care is the first priority.
Pro Tip: If necessary, immediately designate someone to call 911 and be the main point of contact with the dispatcher until help arrives.
Once the safety of the injured person(s) is handled, an investigation should be started. So much can be learned about the accident can be learned and analyzed in the minutes and hours following.
Waiting too long to start an investigation can mean that crucial evidence that will shed light on the cause of the accident could be lost. Elements such as eye-witness interviews and pictures of the scene are important to capture and may become lost, altered or forgotten if time is allowed to pass.
Unfortunately, caring for the injured and completing the investigation is far from the end of the accident nightmare. Post accident paperwork comes next.
- An incident report needs to be filled out and completed; this will be important when working with the worker’s compensation insurance company.
- The initial claim will have to be filed with them in the first 24 hours following the accident, but they will want any additional information as it becomes available. OSHA requires specific paperwork be filled out and maintained as well.
Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to keep it all in a central and specific location as you may be asked questions about the accident for some time afterward.
Back to Work
After an accident, it can be difficult to get things up and running again, especially if someone was hurt in the accident. The sooner everything returns to normal the better.
One way to help this process along is by keeping accurate records of job responsibilities and replacement candidates on hand. This doesn’t mean that the injured employee will never return to the job, but this fallback allows for things to move on, even if it’s just temporary.
Pro Tip: It’s also beneficial to consider the Return to Work Program. This program helps employees return to work faster by encouraging supervisors to understand the pain the injured employee is experiencing, show adequate concern and helps the employee through the return transition by making adjustments. These adjustments can be specified for the employee during the recovery process or to the workflow as a whole in order to create a safer environment.
Training employees beyond their job duties is another essential step in accident preparedness.
Of course, ample training accompanies their responsibilities and safety, but training for accident response can help ensure everything is handled quickly and correctly in the moment.
Pro Tip: Have more than one employee trained in each area of your accident response plan. From injury response to the filing of paperwork, the training of accident responders can smooth the process and prevent unnecessary delays.
Everyone hopes major accidents won’t happen in their workplace, but for the safety of your employees, it’s critical to prepare for them. Following these vital steps helps ensure if an accident does happen, your team can respond quickly and knowledgeably.