Important Steps to Take When a Workplace Injury Occurs

By Tony Sharrock posted 10-26-2020 01:22 PM

  

Workplace safety is a high priority and a concern for employers and employees alike. A workplace injury can impact a worker’s life, health, and ability to earn an income.  Workers’ compensation claims also have a direct impact on an employer’s bottom line. Claims can result in higher workers’ compensation premiums, affect employee morale, and create labor shortages that make completing projects on time challenging. Despite our best efforts, accidents happen, and when they do it is critically important to manage the claim effectively from the moment it occurs. All employees should be trained and be familiar with injury protocols and procedures so when that incident occurs, their expectations are known. This is especially important for businesses with employees who perform their duties off-site without supervisors present. It should be company policy to immediately report all injuries to their supervisor or manager, and all supervisors should be trained on the steps they must take once the incident is reported to them. Most injuries are minor but, regardless, all incidents should be reported and an Incident Investigation Report completed and kept on file,  even if the employee refuses or does not require medical attention. 

  1. Obtain immediate medical attention if needed, and report the incident to supervisor/employer
    • Employer should have a Managed Care Organization (MCO) card or injury packet available to send with the injured worker for the medical provider.
    • Injured worker should be accompanied by his/her supervisor to the medical provider when possible.

  1. Secure the accident site and preserve evidence
    • This is especially important when there is a serious injury and equipment is involved.

 

  1. Investigate and gather facts as soon as possible
    • The supervisor should complete an Incident Investigation Report which includes incident statements from the employee, supervisor and all witnesses.
    • The report should include who was involved, witness list, date and time of the incident, what duties were being performed, what equipment was being used, what were the work conditions, and was personal protective equipment (PPE) being used.
    • The supervisor should conduct one on one witness interviews. Their statements should include what they saw, heard, where they were at the time, and should be notarized when possible.
    • Take photographs or make drawings of the accident scene if necessary.
    • Determine if the incident was work-related.
    • The injured worker should complete a detailed First Report of Injury (FROI), if possible, in his/her own handwriting.

 

  1. Notify your Managed Care Organization (MCO) / Third Party Administrator (TPA) and PERRP (if reportable)
    • Report all claims to your MCO Case Specialist as soon as possible.
    • Contact your TPA claims examiner if a claim is serious, has the potential for lost time to discuss claim management strategies, or if you suspect fraud.
    • Contact PERRP if it is a reportable claim.
    • Stay in frequent contact with your MCO Case Specialist and TPA claim examiners. Your input is important.

 

  1. Evaluate findings and identify the root causes of the incident
    • Was PPE not used or improperly used?
    • Was there faulty equipment?
    • Were there distractions?
    • Was there a failure to follow safety protocols / unsafe work practices?
    • Was there a lack of experience or inadequate training?
    • Was there fatigue or rushing to get the job done?
    • Were there unsafe work conditions?

 

  1. Report findings / implement corrective actions /evaluate effectiveness
    • Are new policies and procedures necessary?
    • Do you need to amend existing policies and procedures?
    • Is new equipment needed?
    • Is better safety training needed?

 

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