No matter which industry you’re operating in, there is always some level of risk when it comes to manufacturing. Employees can suffer injuries in many different ways, not just from heavy machinery, and it’s imperative that you, as a manager, know how to handle things if an accident occurs. There’s a possibility that the accident is a result of negligence on the part of your business, so there may be cause for an investigation into the way you operate. At the same time, if you have rules and regulations in place for your employees, yet the accident occurred in spite of that, it could be the fault of the employee for not following guidance. Either way, the important thing to think about right now is the health and safety of the injured party. Here is our guide for handling an accident like this as a manager.
Document And Report Accident
You should ensure that you report and document the injury as soon as possible in as much detail as you can. There are a number of guidelines and reporting requirements that you must follow in accordance with the US Department of Labour’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and while this shouldn’t be your main priority, you need to keep an eye on all the elements of the accident and the environment in which it happened so you can provide a quality, accurate report. Of course, first and foremost, you should make sure that the injured person gets the help they need before you begin to switch your focus to your report.
This may seem like an obvious step but getting medical attention to the person or people that have been injured should be at the top of your list. As mentioned before, put any thoughts of paperwork, insurance claims and the like aside until you’re sure they’re getting the correct care. At the end of the day, accidents do happen, so now is not the time to be casting blame or deciding who is responsible for the accident occurring. You should have trained first aiders on site at all times, and while that’s likely to be yourself, try to have another trained first aider care for the injured person as you’re going to need to oversee the entire situation. Analyse the injury sustained, and its severity. Make sure any relevant treatment is applied where appropriate, and if the injury is severe enough, especially if it’s head-trauma or an open-wound, call the emergency services at once. Even if the wound doesn’t look serious at first, you should still encourage the employee to speak to a medical professional as soon as possible to rule out anything serious.
Insurance And Claims
Every state has different regulations for worker’s compensation and insurance so make sure you know what you’re legally required to have. Ensure you get some fast and simple workers comp insurance which covers everything from medical expenses and permanent injury to lost wages and retraining costs. Remember, there is a strong possibility, no matter what relationship you have built with the injured employee, that they’ll make a compensation claim against your business, as is their right to do so. Take this seriously and refrain from letting it damage your relationship. It’s your responsibility to help the process of a claim go smoothly and to show that you care about your employees.
Learn From The Mistake
To both avoid future injuries and risks of insurance claims, it will be obvious to you now that more vigilant assessments must be made of your workplace and procedures. It is your duty as a manager to conduct risk assessments and sort out any health and safety hazards. Provide your team with regular safety training sessions and identify any areas that should be improved on when dealing with an emergency situation. Assess the area that the previous accident took place as well as other similar areas that may have been overlooked and be sure that relevant warning signs are put in place to alert workers of potential risks. Increase the safety measures of these areas too if possible, such as railings, or warning tape for trip hazards.