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Handling Workplace Injuries: Employer and Employees’ Responsibilities

Handling Workplace Injuries: Employer and Employees’ Responsibilities

Having an employee get injured at work is no laughing matter. Whatever the severity of the injury in question, it can and will throw a substantial monkey wrench in both the employee’s and employer’s lives. Apart from the obvious medical issues, the amount of paperwork that can come about from these incidents can be daunting. It is imperative that, despite any inconvenience to one or both parties, the proceedings are carried out strictly by the book, leaving nothing to chance and making sure that something like this never happens again.

Get Treatment

Without a doubt, the first action to take when any sort of accident happens in the workplace is to seek out medical help. From a smaller cut to serious issues like fractures, leave nothing to chance. Both the employee and the employer have an obligation to handle the situation in a professional and timely manner. The first thing on anyone’s mind should be the safety of the individual, regardless of what his or her position in the company might be. Failure to comply can not only potentially cause the employee more harm, but can legally condemn the employer down the line.

Reach an Agreement

When the injury has been taken care of, sit down and talk about what happened. It is imperative to find out what brought about the incident and what could have been done to prevent it. Talking it out in a one on one situation will make sure both parties involved will make their case and reach a joint solution. Leaving the entirety of any further actions solely to legal representatives and insurance agents will only leave a sour taste in both parties’ mouths and could even impact the working relationship once the employee is fit to come back.

Prevent Future Injuries from Happening

Once everything has been taken care of, it is the employer’s duty to seal off the area where the accident happened. For one thing, it will need an inspection to fully determine what happened and how it came about. By finding out what the problem was, owners can take steps to prevent similar accidents from happening again. Taking a proactive approach instead of just a reactive one is crucial. Other employees will appreciate the concern, since they might feel tense or unsafe after what happened. This combined approach will hit two birds with one stone, helping employees reclaim their sense of safety and prevent any further incidents.

Complete All Necessary Paperwork

Now that everything has been walled off and secured and an agreement has been made, it’s time for the onslaught of paperwork. Employees have the right to file a claim and the employer has an obligation to inform them and provide them with a form they can fill out. This ties into the idea of avoiding any bad blood between employer and employee, and making sure everyone is able to move on. Employees are entitled to claims, regardless of the cause of injury and are able to seek out compensation via their insurance company.

When taking such action, finding out exactly what goes into a claim is crucial. Although workers compensation doesn’t look into whose fault the injury was, it still does vary depending on the severity of the injuries sustained. Companies like Withstand Lawyers that deal with these issues day in and day out offer in-depth explanations on what to expect in these kinds of matters for both sides and heavily advise looking into entitlements to avoid getting stiffed. Get informed, cooperate with your representatives and, most importantly, the other side. Animosity between employers and employees is never a good idea and can lead to the real nightmare – a lawsuit.

Handle the Insurance

Once the report has been filed and the insurance company’s wheels have started to churn, both sides should do their best to cooperate and provide any necessary information to get everything sorted. The proceedings usually take ages as it is, so prolonging them just doesn’t make any practical sense. The same goes for the injured party, the insurance company might want an independent examination of the sustained injuries. Refusing to cooperate in these situations simply does not bode well for anyone involved and can have serious consequences – from being penalized to waking up with a lawsuit on your doorstep.

Stay Safe

Injuries are bound to happen. Probability has taught us that much. We will never be able to completely prevent them. However, what we do before and after these incidents is what will ultimately define us as individuals. Making sure that everything is conducted with care and in accordance with insurance protocols is imperative. Legal stuff aside, everyone in the office has a moral responsibility to help one another, whatever the circumstances may be. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to stay one thing above all else – human.

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by Cate Palmer // Cate is a designer by day and a writer by night. Her fields of expertise are web design and digital marketing. Her interests are, on the other hand, wide and ever-evolving. These days Cate is quite passionate about helping small businesses in all aspects of online marketing. Cate is also one of the editors at Media Gurus.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.