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Employer responsibilities to injured staff after a work accident

Employer responsibilities to injured staff after a work accident Midlands Health and Safety Consultancy

Workplace accidents refer to any unplanned, unexpected incidents that result in injury or harm to employees during the course of their work, and every employer has responsibilities to follow after an injury or accident at work, whether this in the workplace or out on site.

Whilst some accidents can not be foreseen or prevented, the majority tend to involve scenarios that could and should have been avoided. Accidents at work happen when corners are cut, adequate risk assessments are not made, when staff members are not suitably trained and equipped. Our latest article looks at employer responsibilities to injured staff after a work accident and correct protocol to follow to reduce future risk.

Providing first aid

When a workplace accident occurs, administering prompt first aid should be a top priority for employers. They have a duty to provide immediate medical care to injured employees until professional medical services can be accessed. Companies should have a medical kit readily available, stocked with items such as bandages, plasters, and antiseptic available depending on the situation.

If the injury is serious, it’s a must to contact emergency services straight away and facilitate swift transportation to hospital facilities. Providing emergency first aid demonstrates the company’s commitment to employee safety and can minimise pain, as well as short and long-term damages from injuries.

Investigation

Investigating the cause of accidents and incidents is not only good practice, but is also preventive and pro active in training and future lessons learnt. As a very basic guide to investigation, the guidance features four steps:-

  • Gathering information.
  • Analysing information.
  • Identifying risk control measures.
  • Producing and implementing an action plan.

Three levels of accident causation are then identified through this guidance:-

  • Immediate causes.
  • Underlying causes.
  • Root causes.

Accident reporting

An employer should record the details of the injury and account of how the incident happened in the company accident book. This is a formal document, legally required by all employers, to record the details of any accidents that happen on work premises. The following information should be recorded:

  • The name and contact details of the injured person.
  • The name and contact details of the person reporting the accident.
  • Details of the accident: date, time and location.

Recording the details of an incident in the accident book is important for the employee and the employer involved. It is important to record the details of the accident, including the cause, injuries and the symptoms. This can then be cross referenced against medical records, as proof that the accident happened, which can be used as evidence for a possible work accident claim.

The accident book provides employers with the insight needed to implement new and improved health and safety measures, to prevent future accidents from happening.

Help them recover with lighter duties

When the injured party returns to work, the employer should have a return to work interview with them to ensure they’re fully recovered and fit to work. If their job entails physical labour, such as lifting or standing for long periods, then they may need to be given lighter duties in the meantime until they are fit to do their job as normal, to prevent further injuries.

This change in duties and responsibilities doesn’t only apply to physical injuries though – if they’ve undergone emotional or psychological harm, then removing an employee from anything that can trigger more stress is advisable.

For further information on employer responsibilities to injured staff after a work accident, please contact us here.
 

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