Help! There’s Been an Accident in My Workplace!

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It cannot be helped – one moment you have someone pulling down some papers, the next, you have that person on his back getting pinned by the cabinet. Accidents can happen at work, and while HR might not be able to predict it accurately, they should still be able to handle it calmly.

Preventing Accidents at Work

Prevention is always better than cure, and one of the better ways of preventing accidents from happening, or at least lowering the risk, is to make sure that the office is compliant with health and safety standards. According to recent studies, around 50 000 people die due to injuries and exposure. Aside from the usual talk on “keeping your workspace clean,” an HR should also work with the office admin about putting proper signage and labels in place. At the same time, any accidents should be recorded so that HR can pinpoint if there are areas that need to be improved.

It is also the responsibility of HR to ensure that regular training being done to orient employees about the importance of health and safety at work. The training should include information on how safety equipment should be operated and used. At the same time, each employee should also have the proper equipment for their job. These pieces of equipment should be regularly maintained to lower the risk of an accident.

Dealing with Accidents At Work

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If an accident does happen in your workplace, you need to make an incident report. The reporting should be done regardless of the gravity of the injury. Now the amount of time needed for you to report the accident differs from one state to the next. For example, under Utah law, an accident should be reported within seven days using Form 122e. Once approved, the employee can enjoy several benefits, including indemnity for lost wages and medical care expense reimbursement.

If the accident is something that will prevent the employee from working within the next 12 months or something that will result in his or her death, then your Utah company’s HR has to assist in the social security disability applications. In some cases, the affected employee can also apply for a Supplemental Security Income, particularly if he or she has limited income and resources. Certain requirements need to be met, though, including being single and a resident of the state.

After the Accident

Once the employee has been released by the doctor and given a fit-to-work certification, he or she can resume work immediately, with the gravity of work typically pre-determined as either light or full. Depending on which state your organization is in, you may be given the option of discharging or terminating your employee if they are no longer able to do their job. In the state of Utah, such an act does not penalize the employer with the employee being allowed to take advantage of the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation Services.

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