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5 Steps to Take if an Employee is Injured

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Safety Program|5 Steps to Take if an Employee is InjuredEven if your business has the best safety program in place, it’s still possible for an employee to be injured. Pressure can cause employees to cut corners or be careless in their work. Injuries in the workplace can happen at any time, and it pays to be prepared. How you and other employees respond to the injury can make all the difference. Knowing how to respond is crucial for the employee’s wellbeing and the future success of your business. Workplace injuries impact the employee, their family, staff morale and your business’s bottom line.

Here are five steps you should take when dealing with a work-related injury or illness properly.

Get Appropriate Medical Treatment

The highest priority, when an accident has occurred is to get the appropriate medical treatment for the injured employee. If the person is seriously injured, consider dialing 911 immediately. If the injury is not severe and their life is not in danger, it could be treated in house, or they can be transported to the nearest medical care facility for treatment. Your insurance provider may have provided you with a contact telephone number that provides 24/7 access to an injured employee hotline. Registered nurses will then be able to provide medical guidance over the phone for workplace injuries or illnesses.

Secure the Accident Scene

Once the employee has received medical attention, your next priority is to secure the accident scene. This is to prevent further injury and for investigative purposes. A formal investigation may have to take place by local law enforcement or the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Anything involved in the accident should also be secured and saved as they may be needed during a subsequent investigation. If you’re worried about the legal implications of an injury in the workplace, you should consult with a personal injury attorney such as Abercrombie, PA.

Collect Facts

It’s important to gather facts about the accident as soon as possible. All details and facts will need to be included in any reports that have to be made. Record contact information of who was injured, what happened, where and why it happened and the medical treatment that was provided. Contact information for any witnesses will also need to be recorded.

Complete the Paperwork

You will need to complete an incident report as quickly as possible while it is fresh in your mind. If you want to make a claim under your worker’s compensation insurance policy, you’ll need to file it within 24 hours. This can usually be done by email, phone, or by visiting their website.

Develop a Return-to-Work Program

It depends on the injury, but an accident at work could lead to an employee missing time from work. Therefore, you can implement an effective return-to-work program to help keep workers off long-term disability and potentially lower related costs for you as an employer. Work out whether there are opportunities for transitional or modified jobs so that your business can accommodate employees who have been medically cleared to return to work but will be unable to perform their previous duties.

How to Make Your Office Safer For Everyone

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Office Safety|How to Make Your Office Safer For EveryoneSome company bosses think that their main priority is making a profit, or to their customers, but both of these approaches are wrong. The first is making sure that the staff are happy and safe. It doesn’t take long to tell the difference between a company that values its staff, and one that doesn’t. A big part of this is making sure that they’re able to work safely. Maintaining your health and safety standards may not be the most glamorous aspect of running a company, but it is important. Below, we take a look at a few ways you can make sure your office is safer for everyone.

Assess the Dangers

Before you can see how to protect your staff better, you need to figure out what you’re protecting them from. If it’s been some time since you’ve given much thought to your health and safety, take a look at your office, and identify anything that could be dangerous. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, then hire an outside expert to perform an assessment for you. Once you know the threats, you can reduce the chances of them happening.

If Something Goes Wrong

Though you can reduce the chances of something going wrong at your office, you can never get rid of the threat altogether. There’s always a chance that something dangerous will pass, such as a fire. While you can’t always control what happens, you can control how you respond. If you’ve trained your staff of what they should do in case of a fire, and have smoke curtains for buildings installed, then you’ll significantly reduce the chance of harm. You’ll want to hold training sessions with your staff every few months so that everyone is fully informed of what they should do.

Long-Term Health

It’s important to keep in mind that the dangers of working in an office aren’t always immediate. An office worker’s health can be compromised over a long period. For example, if they’re sitting too long, and using the computer too much, then they could end up with back and eyesight problems. As a responsible boss, it’s up to you to ensure that the health of your staff isn’t harmed just when they’re doing their job. Look at installing sit/stand desks at your office, and encourage workers to take a ten-minute break from the computer every hour.

Additional Training

Even with all the best intentions, it’s always possible that something happens in the office that affects a worker’s health. You can make your worksite extra safe by offering training to all of your team. If they know the basics of first aid and psychological help, they’ll be able to help a worker who has injured themselves or who may be suffering from burnout. The latter is especially important; office work can take a mental toll on a person. If you train your workers to spot the signs that another worker may be suffering at work, then you’ll be helping to ensure your office is a happier and healthier place.

Safety Checklist: 8 Things to Consider at Work

StrategyDriven Human Performance Management Article |Health and Safety| Safety Checklist: 8 Things to Consider at WorkHealth and safety in the workplace isn’t just a formality – it’s something that should be taken into careful consideration each day by every employee. Failing to comply with health and safety regulations, or even take health and safety seriously at work, can lead to serious injuries and even result in costly lawsuits for your business. Health and safety covers everything from trip hazards to ensuring that employees are fully trained to use potentially hazardous machinery and equipment. The type of workplace that you manage will be a huge factor in determining the specific health and safety requirements that you need to meet. We’ve put together a checklist to help you make sure that your workplace is a safe and enjoyable place for all to be.

#1. Regular Audits:

Health and safety isn’t something that you can deal with once and then forget about; it must be regularly revisited to ensure that everything is up to scratch. The best way to do this is by conducting regular health and safety audits so that you can see if there’s anything that needs to be adjusted, replaced, or re-done. Audits should look for any potential hazards, no matter how small, and make sure that all employees are aware of their role in keeping the workplace safe. An ideal way to do this is by using a job safety analysis worksheet – use a program such as JSA Builder which allows you to collaborate with employees to share knowledge, mitigate the most hazardous tasks, customize procedures for your workplace, make more informed decisions, upload photographs and much more. To learn more about this program and how it can help your workplace be safer overall, follow this link for more info.

#2. Employee Training:

No matter how much effort you put in to making sure that your workplace is safe and risk-free, it can only stretch so far when employees are not aware of the role that they play. It’s a wise idea to invest in health and safety training for each employee, and make sure that they know which hazards to look out for and what to do in the event of each type of hazard. Often, it will be easy for employees to deal with the hazard themselves – for example, if they find a spillage or other trip hazard that can be cleaned up immediately. In other instances, it may be the right procedure to report the hazard so that it can be removed. Lay out clear expectations and safety regulations for employees and display these around the workplace so that they can be referred to at any time as and when needed. And, encourage communication regarding hazards. Make sure that employees know that it’s always better to double check if they are not sure, rather than ignore something that could potentially pose a safety risk to themselves and their colleagues.

#3. Equipment Training:

If your employees need to use machinery or other equipment as part of their job, then it’s important to have stringent rules in place regarding their use, particularly if the machinery could be dangerous. First of all, make sure that any employees who use this equipment or machinery regularly are fully trained to do so; never let any employee who has not been trained how to use equipment use it, for both safety and insurance purposes. If necessary, you should also make sure that employees are provided with any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) necessary to use machinery and other equipment safely, such as goggles and ear defenders, high-visibility clothing, hard hats, and protective footwear. No employee should be allowed to enter an area or use equipment that requires PPE without the correct gear. Finally, it’s a good idea to revisit training regularly and offer employees refresher courses – particularly if equipment is changed or upgraded.

#4. First Aid:

Your workplace should be supplied with an extensive, fully-stocked first aid kit. Depending on the type of work that is done by employees, the kit should be filled with a variety of different items. If burns are a risk in your workplace, for example there is a kitchen or employees are working with heated equipment, you should also supply a burns first aid kit in addition to the regular one. First aid kits should be provided in every type of workplace, even in an office where workers could be subject to injuries from falls, cuts and scratches. Lastly, it’s a good idea to offer certain members of staff first aid training; this allows somebody to be there as a first responder should an injury occur with a colleague, client or customer. Regularly double check the first-aid kit to re-stock it and ensure that all items are within the use-by date. This will vary depending on the type of item, but everything from bandages to antiseptic wipes will need to be replaced eventually.

#5. Review Emergency Procedures:

Make sure that all employees are fully aware of the procedures that they will need to take should an emergency arise while they are at work. Fire is a real hazard in all types of workplaces and one can start anywhere from the office to factories, so in addition to training, make sure that you have a fully working fire alarm system and regularly test it. Train your employees on what to do in the event of an employee emergency, fire, attack or other hazardous situation, and ensure that there is clear signage showing them what to do. For example, they will need to know where the emergency meeting point is, where they can pull the nearest fire alarm, and which emergency exit is the closest to them. Regularly review these procedures and make sure that each employee knows exactly how to react.

#6. Keep it Clean:

A workplace that is not kept regularly clean and tidy is not only horrible for employees to work in; it can also pose a health and safety hazard. A clean, clutter-free and tidy workplace will make a more pleasant environment for everybody and can actually help to boost employee mental health too, leading to better job satisfaction and productivity. Untidiness can pose all kinds of hazards from trips and falls to fire risks, so make sure that cleaning up is a priority for every member of staff. Provide enough waste bins around the work floor or office for employees to use and make sure that the restrooms are cleaned at least once per day. Rodent infestations are also a large problem caused by unclean workplaces, so make sure that you are aware of the signs – shiny droppings or gnawed food packages are usually a big tell-tale sign that rodents are in your workplace. If you suspect this, call pest control immediately as it’s not usually a problem that goes away on its own. It’s also a good idea to get a professional cleaner in to conduct a deep clean of your workplace at least once per week.

#7. Require Correct Footwear:

The clothing and uniform that your employees wear to work will largely depend on the type of environment that they are working in. Office environments tend to be more relaxed with footwear, and safety isn’t usually a big priority, however, in industrial and many other environments, there will need to be strict rules provided in order to keep employees both safe and comfortable. It’s important that each employee in this kind of work environment is wearing shoes that are not only the correct fit, but also provide the right amount of protection, such as covering the entire foot and made of a durable and protective material. If necessary, for example, in a warehouse environment or when working with heavy machinery, workers will need footwear that offers additional protection such as boots or shoes with steel toe caps. As an employer, you should work with your employees to provide a footwear program that ensures proper protection and the correct fit.

#8. Lighting:

Lighting can pose a bigger hazard than you think in any workplace environment, even in a relaxed office. Making sure that there is proper lighting in the office will help to prevent eye strain for employees who work predominantly on computers, and providing adequate lighting in stairwells and other workplaces areas is necessary to prevent falls, trips and other accidents. If your workplace has a parking lot, make sure that there is also adequate lighting outside so that both employees and visitors have a safe journey from the workplace to their car. Regularly check light bulbs and replace any that are broken or have gone out.
Health and safety in the workplace covers a wide spectrum, and hazards will vary depending on the type of work that is done by employees. However, from quiet offices to busy factories and warehouses, building sites and workers who travel, there are always potential hazards that each employee will need to be aware of. A full health and safety audit will allow you to determine the biggest risks for your workplace; then work together with your team to keep it safe for everyone.

5 Business Benefits of Good Health and Safety at Work

StrategyDriven Human Performance Article |Health and Safety|5 Business Benefits of Good Health and Safety at WorkInstilling good health and safety practices in your workplace is essential. In fact, it should always be at the top of a business’s priorities, even if the industry your business is part of isn’t considered to undertake high-risk activities.

Failing to put in place appropriate health and safety measures can have serious repercussions that may negatively impact the overall success of your company. To emphasize more, this article will take you through the 5 business benefits of good health and safety at work that you should know about.

1. Save more on legal and insurance costs

It’s generally a bad idea for your business to be in and out of courtrooms due to scenarios that might have been avoided in the first place. Having said that, accidents at work can turn out to be very expensive in terms of legal fees, compensation payouts, fines, and remedial action required. If you properly train your employees on the importance of maintaining safety at the workplace, the possibility of having any costly accidents are greatly reduced.

2. Increase productivity

Good health and safety can also increase the overall productivity of any business. With proper measures in place, your employees will be able to carry out their jobs more efficiently, while remaining safe. This is because their morale will be highly uplifted knowing that they have very little to worry about concerning their health and safety at the workplace. I’m sure you’d like your employees to leave the workplace in the same healthy condition they arrived in, right?

“Back in the day, if there was an accident or health and safety issue in your workplace, you may have opened a filing cabinet to follow the paper trail. Those days are gone”, says David Rowland, head of marketing at Effective Software. “This is because the software has now become the dominant way to administer health and safety systems, and this can save your business time, unnecessary losses and, in the end, money”.

3. Enhance reputation

If your employees feel that you care about their health and safety, they will probably tell people about it. In the end, you’ll have more competition for employment spaces, and most importantly – more people will get to know about your brand (products or services).

For instance, let’s say you work as a call center agent in Company A, and as a result of work, you develop a throat and voice problem. Since you’ve made it a habit to call your mum after work, this time you simply text her and tell her that you can’t speak on the phone due to a voice problem you got from work. In the end, your mum might get a feeling that the company you’re working for is very irresponsible, and even go on to tell a friend about it. Word spreads around, and before you realize it, people don’t want to work for that company or buy its products.

4. Reduce absenteeism

Injuries or illness as a result of poor working conditions is arguably the main cause of increased employee absenteeism. For instance, if an integral staff member develops a more severe problem that requires an extended sick leave or time off, then you’ll definitely have to hire a new employee. Alternatively, you can choose to train someone within the company to take over the post. In as much as this is a step in the right direction, recruiting and training someone new will certainly cost you money. Don’t forget the amount of sick pay that you’ll have to pay the sick staff member.

5. Retain loyal employees

If your staff members feel valued by your company, this will most definitely make them happier at work. As a result, none of your employees would like to quit and work for a rival company. After all, who wouldn’t want to work for a highly reputable and caring company? Certainly not me!

It’s important that both you and your staff members are properly protected from injuries or illness at the workplace. By taking the necessary steps to safeguard their health and wellbeing, your employees will be far more inclined to focus on ensuring that your business succeeds. That’s why it’s important to remember the aforementioned business benefits of good health and safety at work.

What You Should Do If an Employee Has an Accident at Work

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article|Health & Safety | What You Should Do If an Employee Has an Accident at WorkDespite all the precautions and safety measures put in place at your place of work, accidents can and do happen. The truth is; however, you can never totally minimize the risk of an accident but understanding what you can do to help your business and employee through this difficult time is a lot easier when you know what to do.

You might have had all the necessary training to prevent accidents but not how to deal with them afterward. Therefore, if you have found yourself in this situation where an employee has injured themselves, and you are unsure about what steps to take next this guide can help you to get through it.

Medical Attention

When the incident first happens, many people could find themselves going into shock, but acting quickly is vital. You will need to get a first aider to the scene to assess the situation and to see whether an ambulance will need to be called if it seems serious. The quicker you act, the quicker you can eliminate further injuries or problems for the employee.

Get a Written Statement from the Employee

After the incident has happened, and once the employee has received the necessary first aid treatment, you will need to fill out an accident and injury report to find out the facts; who was involved, where it happened and type of injury they have suffered. You will need all this and more to find out precisely what happened to ensure that it never happens again.

Try to talk to them sooner rather than later as trying to understand it early on is essential to not having any other problems further down the line, such as forgetting what happened.

Witness Statements

A good thing to follow up with is getting witness statements from other employees who might have seen what happened and could tell you how the events unfolded. You may find that if your employee is saying that it wasn’t their fault and was a result of the company’s unsafe work area, but three other members of staff are saying something different it could prove that the accident was the employees’ fault and not yours.

This could prove vitally important if it is taken to court when the employee tries to claim against you. You don’t want to find yourself in financial difficulty because someone is suing you. Remember this would affect not only your finances but also your reputation, and for your business’s future, you will want to avoid this at all costs.

Report The Accident

No matter how serious the injury your employee suffered was, it is essential that you report this accident to your insurance company which can cover you financially while you deal with being down an employee. You shouldn’t avoid filing this report as this could have repercussions on your behalf if the employee was to claim against you and it was your fault. The financial losses could be huge for you.

Assess the Levels of Safety in the Work Place

After the accident has happened and you have read the statements and deemed what exactly happened you will need to assess the levels of safety in your workplace. You might have found that despite the safety measures you put in place some time ago due to people falling back into bad habits of not being careful that the safety levels have slipped.
You will want to prevent anything else happening in the future, so it is a good idea to train up all your employees again with a refresher course and testing all your equipment to ensure that it is safe to use.

Seek Legal Help

If from the statements you take you find that it was neither yours or your employee’s fault but was a third party such as another employee or a visitor who caused them the injury, helping your employee to get legal help when dealing with a long-term injury would mean a lot to them. There are lawyers that specialize in injuries at work, and this law firm will ensure that your employee will get themselves back on their feet financially by taking away any stress that comes with it.

If they were injured by any of your equipment or a product that you have bought from elsewhere, these lawyers could also help your employee get the finances they deserve, on top of the sick pay they will be receiving from you. If this was the case, you should consider replacing the equipment and changing the products you use.

If you find out that it was your employee’s fault because they were under the influence of alcohol intoxication or drugs and they are trying to sue you, you have every right to take them to court. You will need to prove that actually, the safety measures you have in place were not at fault at all but it was the employees.

If it turns out, it was your fault, and they have filed a claim against you then you legally will have to pay them the compensation, and you look at how you can stop this from ever happening again.

Welcoming Back the Employee

The injury has probably affected the employee in more ways than you can imagine and so when they are ready to come back to work, it is important to welcome them back and ensure they are happy. Some people may find that even with a long term injury that they have to come back sooner than they wanted to for financial reasons so sit down and have a chat with them about how you can improve how they work to make it easier. If their job involves behind on their feet a lot and they have hurt their leg you could offer them a job sitting at a desk.

If this isn’t possible and they have to go back to their old job make sure they bring a doctors letter with them that proves they are fit to work; if they cause further injury and haven’t provided you with this letter, they could make a claim and you can be made responsible. Persist that they only come back to work if they have this letter.