For businesses, it is important that you are ready in the event that an accident occurs in the workplace. Accidents can happen to both employees and visitors to the premises and can range from anything from trips and falls, to items falling on them, to machinery accidents.
Businesses and their employees need to know how to deal with injuries in the workplace for two reasons. Firstly, time is often of the essence when there is an accident. It is essential to make sure that all of the people in the area are safe and that medical attention is sought as quickly as possible. It is also important financially.
Businesses must be seen to be doing what they can to reduce the risk of injuries or they could find themselves with a claim being made against them. It is essential both to ensure that the business is covered by their insurance and to reduce the amount of money that can be claimed by the injured party.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the body that is in charge of looking at workplace injury in the UK. They give guidelines about how businesses should deal with injuries.
Be prepared in advance
One of the key elements to dealing with injuries at work is having procedures in place to ensure that it is dealt with properly. This can make a big difference both to how serious the injury is and also to any compensation that will need to be paid out as a result of it.
Some aspects that businesses should be looking at in advance include:
- The legal duty of employers to have an accident book where all accidents must be recorded if they happen
- Building a response plan for the different types of accidents that can happen
- Ensuring that all employees and managers are fully trained on the different response plans
- Keeping first aid kits fully stocked, accessible, and well-signposted
- Keeping emergency contact details on file and up-to-date for all employees
- Employing safety officers and first-aid trained officers
- Remember that prevention is better than cure and do what you can to reduce any risks that there might be.
Respond immediately & effectively
The first few moments after an accident when there is an injury are critical. It can make a massive difference to the severity of the injury and would be investigated should the injured person decide to make a claim against you. When/if an accident occurs and somebody gets injured, you should try to remain as calm as possible. This will help you to keep a cool head and not do anything out of panic. Being prepared for these situations will help you not to get flustered. From this, you should then:
- Make sure that everybody is safe – if there is an area that is unsafe, get everybody out of there as quickly and safely as possible.
- Assess the situation – how serious is the injury? How safe is the area? What caused the accident?
- Assess the injury – have a look at the injury and decide on the next step. It might be that simple first aid is adequate, but it might be that you need to call 111 or 999 if it is very serious. You should always seek professional medical assistance if there is a head injury.
- Gather evidence and information – take details from witnesses, and photos if possible, and gather any other evidence or information whilst the situation is still fresh. Ask other employees to write down their accounts of what happened so that you can refer back to them if you need to
Follow legal paperwork & communication
It is important that you follow the legal paperwork processes required to ensure that everything is above board. Recording the incident in the accident book is essential, but you might also be required to fill in other forms.
Depending on the incident, the injured person may need to claim for compensation to help them to pay for missed work or medical treatment. As a business, you need to be prepared for this by ensuring that all the correct paperwork is filled out.
Be aware of potential lawsuits
When someone gets injured, there is always the chance that they could make a personal injury claim against you. This is why it is important that you are properly prepared, carry out procedures properly, and fill out all of the necessary paperwork. Try to also keep the lines of communication open between the business and the injured party, as the whole process will be much easier.
Contact Waldrons solicitors
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Last reviewed on 11/07/23 by Joseph Norton who is an Associate Director and Head of Compensation