Are you required by law to have worker’s compensation insurance?
A recent survey showed that 3 out of 10 small business owners weren’t sure of the answer.
That’s not a statistic you want to be a part of! If you own a business, you need to know the facts before an accident happens. Before an injury at work, employer responsibilities need to get laid out.
So, what do you need to know? We’ve got you covered! Read on for your full employer’s guide to work injuries and how to handle them.
Before an Accident
Preparation for a workplace injury should begin way before an incident happens. In fact, you should brace your business for accidents while building your foundations. You don’t want to become a small business that fails due to an avoidable accident.
Instead, you need to focus on maintaining a safe space and getting insurance. You need to take these two steps before any type of incident happens! In fact, consider taking these steps before you ever open your doors for business.
Maintain a Safe Workspace
Did you know that you have a duty to provide for your employee’s care? You’re also bound by law to provide for your patrons’ care, too. You must take reasonable steps to ensure their safety or get held 100% liable for the fallout.
To uphold your duty of care, you need to create and maintain a safe workspace. You need to make sure your office has a safety plan, emergency exits, and a first-aid kit.
If you’re not sure how to make a safe space, then consult with a legal expert. It’s not worth losing your business because you didn’t have band-aids on hand at the office!
Unless your business is a solo operation, you likely need to get insured. Worker’s compensation insurance protects your business if an employee gets injured or ill. Without insurance, those costs will fall onto your shoulders alone.
Worker’s comp insurance is not only wise, but it’s also necessary to remain compliant with the law.
During an Accident
Once you have a plan and insurance, your business will be better prepared to handle an accident. Don’t let your compliance lead to complacency, though. To avoid negligence, you always need to keep safety a top priority.
When an accident does happen, you need to both respond and document the incident. Learn more on that below.
Responding and Reacting to the Accident
The worst thing you could do during an accident is feign ignorance. Never ignore a situation because that will spell disaster for your business.
Instead, respond and react to the accident. Help the injured employee. You should have a list of acceptable care providers from your insurance provider. Tell the employee to get care from one of those providers ASAP.
Once the injured employee gets care, focus on the area. Immediately secure the accident scene to prevent more injuries or accidents. If possible, take photos of the scene before you start to clean it up.
Document What Happened
Next, you need to document what happened on an official form. Having an injury management system in place can help with that. With one, you’ll have access to appropriate incident reports.
In a nutshell, you’ll need to verify that an accident happened and who got hurt. You’ll want to put in evidence of the injury or accident if possible. Photos are good, and video evidence is even better.
Remember, documentation doesn’t only prove what happened, but it protects your business, too!
After an Accident
Once the immediate panic subsides, don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re out of the woods. It’s crucial for your business to take more steps after the accident, too.
Safeguard the Area
First, safeguard the area. While you may have secured the scene during the accident, it may need more work. You may need to investigate further what caused the accident.
Was faulty equipment at fault? Did a leaky sink cause the floor to become slippery? Determine the cause of the accident and take steps to ensure it’s corrected if possible.
Start a Worker’s Compensation Claim
It’s also your responsibility as an employer to get started on a worker’s comp claim. You must provide the injured employee with the right paperwork. Let them fill out the claim, and then it’s up to you to file it with your insurer.
You have a limited window to file this claim. Do not make the mistake of waiting too long. If you do, then your business could get held liable for your employee’s losses.
Accommodations and the ADA Act
Once the claim gets approved, your insurer will handle the rest. Your employee will get compensation while they recover.
What happens when they’re ready to return to work, though? What if they’re not as physically capable as they were before?
If it doesn’t provide a hardship for your business, you must accommodate the employee. Otherwise, you could be beaching the ADA Act.
Preventing Future Accidents
Finally, be sure to take action to prevent future accidents. Several similar incidents could lead to negligence claims and lawsuits. Don’t make that mistake!
Injury at Work? Employer Responsibilities and More
Before and after an injury at work, employer responsibilities must get addressed. The last thing you need is to procrastinate on ensuring your business is compliant. If you do so, then you could get hit with fines, penalties, and even lawsuits!
Use this article as your launching point. Secure a plan of action for before, during, and after work accidents. Ensure you have insurance and that you’re following the law. These steps will help you navigate any future accident.
Are you looking for more facts to help your business thrive in 2021? If so, then we’ve got everything you need right here. Keep browsing through our blog to see more of our best content.