Work injuries happen on a regular basis. Sometimes, there is no fault or prevention that would have helped the situation. A slip and fall can happen to anyone. In other circumstances, you might be able to make workplace changes to prevent a repeat issue. In either case, you have specific duties and responsibilities involved in documenting and handling the results of an injury that occurred on the job.
You will need to complete the right forms, communicate with claim managers, send workers to the right health facilities for assessment and more. Any delay in the process can cause severe consequences for the both the employee and your company. The right preparation can keep the process running smoothly when a work-related injury does occur.
Start with Prevention
Before looking at the process for handling an injury, start with a risk assessment that documents the greatest risk factors at your company. In a kitchen, slippery floors can play a role in the most likely workplace accidents. In a warehouse, employees operate heavy machinery or deal with large conveyor systems. No matter where you work, a risk assessment should document likely sources of injury and processes designed to prevent them. Having injury prevention in place can minimize the number of accidents annually, which will save your company from considerable outlays if workers’ compensation comes into play.
What to Do If an Injury Happens
Injuries do happen. Sometimes they are relatively minor, and at other times, an injury can be life threatening. When something happens, it is a good idea to have a plan for handling workplace injuries. Immediately start with these three basic steps.
Step 1: Offer first aid or immediate medical attention. If the injury is severe, call 911. If it doesn’t require critical care, send or transport the worker to the nearest health facility to assess the damage.
Step 2: File a report. Always file a report as quickly as possible to get the details down while they are fresh. The longer you wait to report the incident, the more likely it is that someone will forget an important detail.
Step 3: Investigate each incident. The best way to prevent a repetition of an accident is by determining the cause. Once you know the cause, you can implement procedures to reduce the risks of a repeat.
If an injury isn’t severe, you can take a few (up to three) days to report the incident. It is always best to report as soon as possible to handle any follow-up that needs to happen.
After you take care of the immediate issues, you may have ongoing paperwork and claims to handle. This is when you might want to hire a work injury lawyer in Singapore from IRB Law. Legal help is often invaluable when dealing with ongoing work injury issues.
Dealing With Workers’ Compensation Claims
After reporting the injury, you’ll need to fill paperwork about the injury, starting a compensation claim. As part of that report, you should always include information about the option for light duties or modified work that will be available during recovery. The worker’s doctor should be involved in the process of defining new and reduced work duties during the recovery period.
Studies show that a faster return to work often results in a faster recovery time. Going to work helps prevent feelings of isolation and depression. At work, your injured employee can be effective and engaged. Before handling a work-related injury issue, be sure to have some reduced duties already listed.
Keep in Touch with Injured Employees
Once you have a claim in process, communication is the key to a streamlined return to work. Let your injured employees know about the options for coming back to work and the reduced physical demands modified duties will require.
When an injury prevents even modified duties, it’s important to stay in touch with the injured worker. Keep them engaged and let them know that you are anticipating their return to work. Keep them in the loop about workplace changes that will prevent a repeat of their injury and let them know that you will work with their doctor about a recovery schedule.
Handling a Slower Recovery
When an employee isn’t eligible to return to their former position, you can always offer programs like skills training or a job transfer. This will help the injured employee stay motivated during recovery and reassure them that they will have meaningful employment when their condition permits. By staying up to date on the paperwork, working to reduce risk factors, quickly addressing accidents and injuries and building processes to help with return to work, you can make handling workers’ compensation claims significantly easier.