Work-related injuries are part of business reality. No matter how much an employer prepares for them, sometimes, accidents and situations that lead to injury just occur. Despite that fact, employers still have to be vigilant in enforcing safety guidelines as it’s their legal and moral duty to do so.
Knowing how to handle injuries should be a priority in every business. Assigning a medical officer or a few individuals to solely take on the job isn’t enough. Everyone must be ready to contribute to first aid and emergency procedures, especially in unexpected times of disaster like earthquakes.
- Provide proper medical care immediately
Naturally, the employees’ safety comes first. For minor injuries, it’s the responsibility of the medical officer – or trained personnel, if the latter is unavailable – to provide immediate medical care.
For more serious and life-threatening injuries, the standard procedure is to call in emergency services for help. It’s vital that everyone in the company has knowledge of the emergency hotlines, as part of preparedness strategies.
- Secure and investigate the cause of the injury
It’s important to immediately secure the cause of the injury not only to prevent further incidents but also for investigative purposes. Malfunctioning equipment must be left alone until they’re safe to work with. Unsafe sections of the workplace must be cordoned off until repaired and improved.
- Enact changes to prevent a recurrence
A tired but still true proverb says that “prevention is better than cure.” A diligent employer must constantly improve the workplace to be safe for the employees. The endeavor not only diminishes the chances of injury-causing mishaps, it also improves the morale of workers.
Keeping employees healthy in mind and body is a major factor in accident and injury prevention. Businesses can take advantage of regular medical examinations to promote employee wellness. Drug screenings, marijuana urine drug testing, and the like, are also options for tackling substance abuse in the workplace.
- Keep records of the incident
In several countries around the world, accident and injury record-keeping is a legal requirement for businesses to operate. For example, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates that employers with more than 10 workers are required to keep a record of serious work-sustained illnesses and injuries.
Aside from that, record-keeping can be beneficial in evaluating the safety of a workplace, as well as a reliable source of data for improving working conditions.
Work-related injuries are part of business life. They may be inevitable, but they can be mitigated and handled. So long as the business prioritizes safety in day-to-day operations, the workers will be prepared to tackle accidents and the injuries that may arise from them.
It’s unavoidable that employers must devote resources to implement these safety strategies. The costs may be significant for some approaches, but they’re worth the investment in the long haul. Employees are the soul of any business, after all.
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