While it’s not something that business owners and managers like to think about, a serious workplace accident could happen at any time. If this is the case, you need to have company protocol for exactly how to handle the situation both safely and legally. Below are seven steps you should follow.
1. Get the Affected Employee Help
If an employee is injured, your first concern should always be to get that person medical attention. Have someone who is trained to do so administer first aid to that employee. You should also immediately dial 9-1-1 or the appropriate number to request an ambulance.
2. Alert the Employee’s Family
After the employee has been taken to the hospital, it is your duty as a business owner or manager to inform that employee’s family member of the accident. Use the emergency contact that was listed on that employee’s job application. This is usually a spouse, significant other or parent.
3. Secure and Preserve the Scene
If it is safe to do so, you should attempt to preserve the scene of the accident. Do so by cordoning it off from the rest of the workplace. This will allow for a successful investigation later that can helpfully prevent further similar accidents in the future.
4. Have Emergency Clean up Performed
On the other hand, if the accident involved the release of hazardous materials, the scene should not be preserved. It should be cleaned up to present further risk to others. Such a cleanup should only be performed by workers that have received HAZWOPER training from an organization like National Environmental Trainers.
5. File an Accident Report
In order to conform to the law, you must create a detailed accident report. It should cover all the details you are aware of regarding the accident and be filed into your records where it can be accessed later.
6. Notify the Appropriate Authorities
Make sure you notify all the appropriate authorities of the accident. This can include upper-management, OHSA, Worker’s Compensation and even the police if necessary.
7. Perform an Internal Investigation
While you may be inspected by authorities like the OHSA, you should also perform your own internal investigation into the incident. Make sure you discover why the accident happened and make the appropriate changes to insure it never happens again.
While all the above steps are absolutely necessary after an accident, it is also a good idea to make sure you always maintain an absolutely safe workplace. It is better to prevent such accidents before they happen.