Accidents happen. Especially in the workplace. The majority of the time there will be little to no accidents, but as we saw a couple of posts ago, there are plenty of ways to get injured that come up regularly in the workplace. The actions you take as an employer and a human being after an accident is going to effect the culture and the feelings the employee acts towards the company.
Reporting An Accident
Generally only serious accidents need to be reported. The people who need to know about these accidents are your local Health and Safety Department who you should be aware of already.
You, the employer are legally responsible for reporting the accident. Don’t be sneaky as your employees are in their right to follow up with the department to ensure it was reported.
The types of injuries that need to be reported are:
- injuries involving broken, fracture or dislocated bones and major muscle related injuries
- scaffolding collapses, machine breaking in use and gas leaks.
- injuries that mean an employee cannot complete work for at least three days
Note: One key distinction is that accidents don’t always need to involve injuries.
Identifying Who Is Responsible For Health And Safety At Work
Each company is going to have a different way of managing this, but the general rule is for 1 – 2 people being responsible for carrying out various health and safety training procedures in each team. When an injury occurs, these people aren’t to be held responsible, but they are accountable for doing everything possible to eliminate repeat accidents going forward.
Every company should have an accident book to log all the details. This is not only useful for identifying any patterns over time, but if there are any issues about specific incidents in the future a quick look at the accident book will provide all the information required.
The more information entered into these books the better. Specific events get lost over time!
If Injuries Are Involved, Remember They’re Human. Not Just An Employee
While all of the above is considered to be mandatory, there are other things you can do beyond the rules to sypthathise with those who are injured. You can have a chat to them when they return to work if time off was required. You can send them gifts, you may want to get the team to rally in behind their colleague or simply give them a call on the phone.
These are all simple tasks that will ensure the employer, employee relationship can continue. We wouldn’t want to deal with a lawsuit now would we!
Workplace accidents are never fun to deal with. If no injuries are involved, the bureaucracy of reporting accidents and recording all the data may seem like a waste of time. It’s not! There is plenty to learn from each and every accident and collecting information can help shape your companies future.