If you are operating a business with employees, it’s important that you have some working knowledge of employment law. When an employee has been injured in the workplace, it’s essential that you respond in the appropriate manner to ensure that the workers’ compensation process runs as smoothly as possible. It’s vital that any business owner with employees to have a clear understanding of the workers’ compensation process, and the appropriate steps to take when an employee has been injured.
Step #1: Understand OSHA and Workplace Safety
As an employer, it is your responsibility to provide employees with a safe environment to work in. Having some understanding of workplace safety and following OSHA’s recommendations, can help to mitigate the risk of accidents in the workplace. Some of OSHA’s regulations for employers include:
- Being in compliance with OSHA regulations in providing a workplace that is safe and free from hazards
- Have signage posted of potential workplace hazards
- Provide staff with training regarding OSHA practices
- Regularly update and communicate safety procedures to employees
- Provide safety training to employees
- Post an OSHA poster in an area where employees can see it
- Keep clear records of injuries that have occurred in the workplace
Step #2: Have an Immediate Response When an Employee is Injured
When a worker has been injured employers should respond immediately by ensuring that no other employees are at risk of sustaining injuries, by getting them to a safeplace. However, it’s vital that employers tend to the injured employee. Although in some cases an employee may not be seriously injured, it’s still important to help them obtain medical care to make sure that there are not any underlying or more serious issues.
Step #3: Clearly Document the Accident
Soon after the accident, it’s important that you clearly document what happened. This should include any key evidence from the accident. Documentation can help to have a clear account of what has happened, especially if workers’ compensation insurance is a necessary next step.
Step #4: Keep the Lines of Communication Open
As the employer, it is your responsibility to file a workers’ compensation claim with the insurance company. This can help to ensure that the claims process runs as smoothly as possible. Additionally, it will be important that you clearly communicate each step of the process to the injured employee and the insurance company.
Step #5: Consider a Business Lawyer
As an employer, it’s best not to wait until you are faced with an employee related injury prior to contacting a business lawyer for their guidance. While a business lawyer can help you to manage the workers’ compensation process when an employee has been injured, they can also help in a variety of other preventative ways. A business lawyer, can assist in helping to put policies and procedures in place that are in compliance with OSHA, and ultimately help to mitigate the risk of a job related accident. Additionally, should an employee related accident result in litigation, a business lawyer can provide you with the legal protections you may be in need of.
Workers’ compensation is an important benefit for both employers and employees. Workers’ compensation insurance help to cover work related injuries by covering medical care and a portion of lost wages. Workers’ compensation can also provide employers with the peace of mind in knowing that an employee will not be able to file a lawsuit against them. For more information regarding workers’ compensation, contact a business lawyer in your area to help ensure that you take the appropriate steps should an employee be injured on the job.