The moment an employee injury occurs, it initiates a sequence of events that can last for weeks or even months. But no matter how prolonged the recovery period, the first 24 hours after an injury are the most crucial. To respond effectively to an incident, the majority of the action items should occur within 24 hours.
In a study published by the Hartford Financial Services Group, it was found that:
- Claims reported during the second week after an occurrence had an average settlement value that was 18 percent higher than that for claims reported during the first week.
- Waiting until the third or fourth week resulted in claims costs that were about 30 percent higher.
- Claims that were not reported until one month after the occurrence were typically 45 percent higher.
- According to the study, back injuries were particularly sensitive to delayed reporting; waiting just one week to report a back injury typically results in a 40 percent increase in the ultimate cost of the claim.
Because claims truly drive your insurance destiny, well-managed injuries go a long way toward improving your firm's total risk management program.
As promised, here are seven steps that must be checked off during the first 24 hours after an injury. Think of a sound workplace incident report protocol as another layer of insurance for your firm:
1.) Have a Plan in Place and Share It
To aid in educating your staff about workplace injuries, your company should create and post a written, 24-hour response plan for employees and supervisors to follow. OK, so you obviously want to have a response plan in place before an injury. Training on the plan will build confidence for both employees and supervisors.
2.) Examine the Injury
Immediate assessing of the injury and facilitating appropriate and personal treatment is crucial. Determine the type and severity of the injury. Ideally, a staff member trained in first aid can assess the severity of the injury and the appropriate action needed.
3.) Have All Types of Workplace Incident Report Forms Ready to Roll
Give the injured employee forms to take to the doctor. These forms allow the doctor to authorize return to work and note any temporary restrictions an employee may have. This shows the employee that she has a team with a plan during her recovery — a doctor and a boss who are on the same page.
4.) Visit the Doctor — Don't Delay Unnecessarily!
For injuries that usually result in the most lost time and highest claims costs, such as sprains, strains, neck and back injuries, appropriate medical care is most likely a prompt visit to a clinic or a doctor well-versed in evidence-based occupational health care delivery. An established clinic relationship facilitates prompt and appropriate treatment for injured workers.
5.) Show You Care
Communicate care and concern as soon as possible, letting the injured employee know that you care about his well-being and you want him back on the job as soon as he's able. Step out of your employer shoes for a minute and really listen to what he's saying. Make a human-to-human connection. Be sincere.
6.) Report While the Details are Fresh
After triaging the employee and providing prompt medical attention, it’s important that a workplace incident report and related documentation is shared with appropriate parties immediately. Ensure that injury reporting is quick across all levels (supervisor, injury management coordinator, and insurance carriers). Timely reporting is one important result of effective training and results in rapid return to work and minimized indemnity claims.
7.) Check In with Your Employee
Follow up with the injured employee by finding out how the doctor’s visit went. Let him know you've been thinking about him and how he's doing. Hear from your worker what the doctor had to say. Together, you can begin formulating an appropriate return to work plan.
Claims that stretch out are more expensive than claims that are managed quickly. What's more, a fast and transparent claims and injury management process demonstrates to an injured employee that you want him back in the pink as soon as possible. This goes a long way toward building your employer brand and controlling workers compensation costs.
What Should Be Included in a Workplace Incident Report Form?
Just as it’s important to know what steps to take after an incident has occured, it's also good practice to have the right forms with the right information on them. Several firms have their own templates readily available for when an incident does occur. This makes the process quick, easy, and also ensures that the person(s) filling out the workplace incident report form don't miss any important information.
We filled you in on a step by step guide on what actions to take after an incident, but we’ve also got you covered on what to include in a good workplace incident report form right here. Make sure your report includes:
- Full name of person injured, full name of witness, date, and time of the incident
- Name of supervisor
- Specific location that the incident occured
- Full details of the injury
- Description and sequence of the event
- Before, during, and after incident descriptions
- Description of how the injured was treated
- Photos if relevant
Accidents happen and are likely to occur especially in high risk environments. Use the guides and steps listed above to make sure you are prepared and ready for any situation.
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