A recent statement from the Ministry of Labour (MoL) states that nearly 1400 fatal and over one lakh non-fatal injuries and accidents occur at workplaces all around the country. That roughly equals an average of four deaths per day!!!
That’s just the recorded cases. It barely scratches the tip of the iceberg. Workplaces, especially Indian ones, are full of dangers for the employee. These alarming statistics indicate that your workplace is likely to meet with an accident, sooner or later.
The best way to protect your employees and save your business from costly legal entanglements is to conduct a professional risk assessment at your workplace ASAP. A risk assessment helps you identify the potential signs of dangers and helps in making your workplace safer for everyone.
However, a risk assessment doesn’t mean that your workplace is 100% free from risks and dangers. Even when you take the appropriate measures and safety precautions to make your workplace safe, there’s a chance that accidents happen.
Here, in today’s post, we take a closer look at what to do, if unfortunately, an accident occurs in the workplace.
When an accident occurs in a workplace, most often employees and managers panic. They don’t know how to respond and waste precious time, which could have saved the victim.
The first rule you have to keep in mind is “Never Panic.” We agree that following this rule is often tricky. But, as an employer or safety manager, keeping a level head is essential to minimize the risks. In fact, the way employers and managers respond to an accident makes all the difference.
Here’s the protocol to follow, when an injury or accident occurs in the workplace.
- Take care of the Victim
In an accident, the first and foremost duty is to provide the victim with the right medical care. In an emergency situation, make sure to call an ambulance as soon as the incident occurs. If you have trained medical personnel on campus, make sure to alert them, so that they can start with the first-aid measures immediately.
If it’s a non-emergency situation, try to carefully transport the victim to the medical care facility on campus or the nearest hospital.
Make sure to keep your medicine cabinet stocked always. It’s a good idea to have a trained first-aid provider on campus.
- Assess the Situation
The next step is to identify what’s happened. Not all accidents at the workplace cause injuries to employees. A large number of accidents cause damages to property and other equipment. Make sure that you assess the situation before you respond. For instance, if an electrical fire has broken out, make sure to move all your employees away from the place, before you try to put out the fire.
- Secure the Scene
The next step is to secure the scene. An accident scene has to be secured immediately, to avoid secondary accidents. Make sure that no one enters the scene of the accident. Alert the authorities and avoid disturbing the scene, so that you don’t hamper the official investigation.
- Complete the Required Paperwork
Once you have ensured the treatment of the victim, the safety of the other employees and secured the scene, the next step is to complete the proper paperwork. Fill the incident report and provide the accurate details. The report has to be submitted to your insurance provider within 24 hours of the incident to file any claims.
Additionally, regulations state that you record and keep a detailed report of workplace accidents and injuries.
- Ease return-to-work
Even minor injuries like sprains, strains, and fractures can lead to a worker taking off from work, for weeks or even months. The longer an employee is away from work due to an injury, the more difficult it is for him/her to return to the job.
Make sure that you have a Return-to-work program to help employees continue where they left off. Allot a dedicated manager to monitor and support the employee, when he/she comes back to work from the break.
Alternatively, you can provide modified or transitional jobs for such employees. These are specialized light-weight jobs for employees who have obtained the necessary medical clearance to work, but are unable to carry out their duties in full-swing.
It’s not necessary that the modified jobs are in the same department as the previous job of the employee. Modified posts have a shorter number of hours. These jobs help in boosting the employee’s confidence and motivate him/her to remain with the company.
- Make a Commitment to Safety
As an employer, it’s your duty to ensure that your employees are safe in the workplace. Make sure that safety is a priority at your campus and provide employees with the necessary safety training and gear.
Additionally, make sure that you have a medical provider on campus or nearby so that your employees get immediate treatment. By planning well in ahead for modified jobs and having medical care on campus, you ensure that you can efficiently handle a work-related injury if it occurs in the workplace anytime in the future.
Additionally, put up posters all around campus reminding employees to follow safety protocols. Also, ensure that your employees aren’t overworked as stress and sleeplessness are the main reasons for workplace injuries.
- Plan for the Future
Don’t wait till another accident occurs to take further steps. Make sure that you come up with a plan to prevent future accidents at your workplace. Use this unfortunate incident as an eye-opener.
The best way to ensure that no future accidents occur in your workplace is to work with an experienced health and safety provider like Totalika. Our safety experts at Totalika not only assess the risks at your workplace but also suggest the right measures to improve the safety of your business. From providing comprehensive and customized safety training to your employees to providing you with the right safety gear and drafting a complete safety strategy, we take care of it all.
Click here to get started on your Workplace Safety Mission.