Small Business Office Owners ~ Preparation For Workplace Injuries Mini-Guide

Robin Wells

Do you own a small business with only a few employees? You likely have workman's compensation insurance, but you may view the insurance as a legal compliance. Perhaps you strongly doubt that any of your workers could ever get injured due to the scope of their job. It is important to note that workplace accidents happen when least expected, which is why they are referred to as accidents. Even a small chance of an accident occurring is reason enough to be prepared. The following points will help you to be prepared if one ever occurs on your premises. 

Aim for intervention.

This involves educating your workers on potential ways that they could injure themselves. For example, in an office environment, safety meetings on trip and fall hazards from cords, paper cuts, electrocution, and improper lifting of heavy objects should be covered. A paper cut may seem like a small thing to report, but think of what could happen if an employee got a staph infection at the site of the paper cut. You can prevent some of these potential accidents by having the correct equipment such as surge protectors, carts, wire management solutions, fingertip protectors, and a first aid kit. 

Ensure there is an easy-to-understand process for reporting workplace accidents.

Your employees need to know the protocol. For example, in a small environment, employees may be expected to report to their boss; however, sometimes the boss may be out of the office or "off limits" to regular staff. If there is another person such as an office manager who should handle accident reports, then employees need this information. 

Quickly evaluate employees who report injuries to determine medical necessity.

If it is a medical emergency, 911 should be called; however, there are incidents where employees are injured and need medical attention, yet not an ambulance. Know ahead of time where employees who need to see a doctor but are not in an emergency situation will go. For example, you may allow these patients to go to a local doctor or urgent care facility instead of the hospital ER. 

Complete an in-house accident report.

You will need to document every incident that occurs no matter how small it is. Going back to the staph infection example, take a moment to imagine trying to remember whether an employee reported a minor injury that worsened. Important things to document are the date, time, witnesses if applicable, what the employee or a witness was able to describe as causing the accident, type of injury, and method of treatment. This means that if you clean a cut or provide a bandage and antibiotic ointment, it needs to be documented. If medical attention is needed, this should also be included in the report. 

Report the incident to your workman's compensation insurance provider. 

You need to report incidents to your provider as soon as possible. They may have certain incidents that they do not need a phone call about. For example, they might tell you that first aid-related injuries should be documented only; however, you may be required to report injuries that result in employees needing to go to the doctor or hospital. 

For more information, contact local professionals like Divers-Savage-Mcpherson Insurance Agency.


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