How Businesses Can learn After Accidents At Work
23rd August 2013
When staff are injured at work and businesses face workplace accident claims, it is a good idea to consider how to prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future. While accident at work compensation claims, prosecutions, fines and employee absences can cause damage to companies following preventable accidents, they can also create learning opportunities and can help companies to improve their health and safety policies significantly.
So what should you do after an employee’s workplace accident?
Investigating Accidents At Work
An investigation into an accident at work should be thorough and in-depth. It is a good idea to keep an area undisturbed following serious accidents, so evidence is secure and can be properly analysed.
Any authorities who should be informed about the workplace accident must be promptly contacted, and the accident should be recorded in the business’ accident book.
Businesses must then proceed to collect evidence. As well as physical evidence, this will also include witness statements, relevant documentation and the victim’s story. You should not hide this evidence in workplace accident compensation claim investigations – instead, always be upfront and honest.
While workplace accident solicitors, health and safety consultants and a wide range of other bodies can help you understand and interpret this evidence and find out what you need to know, you must ensure you complete a thorough assessment of the incident.
Investigating previous workplace accidents and looking into the failings that led to them can bolster your investigation and help you understand what went wrong.
When you have realised what went wrong, you can make recommendations and implement your decisions. View the accident at work dispassionately – there is no benefit to becoming defensive or combative.
Blame And Prevention In workplace Accident Claims
Investigating workplace accidents should not be about apportioning blame – when this happens, businesses can find themselves blaming victims rather than themselves. Preventable accidents should not happen – instead of considering what the employee did wrong, think about how their mistakes can be prevented and how injuries can be avoided.
Communicate with the rest of the company and ensure that everyone feels ready to report near-misses and minor workplace accidents. Some companies develop a culture of fear, especially in the modern workplace, with many employees in tentative or uncertain work and unsure of what the future will bring. Whistleblowing should be promoted – ensuring staff feel free to identify their concerns and that their comments are taken on board. Only then will you be able to prevent accident at work compensation claims.
All companies have a legal duty of care towards their staff and anyone else who enters their premises, and must take all reasonable steps to protect their personal safety. Businesses must take this duty as seriously as they take their business strategy and future expansion – it should be a key consideration in every aspect of their operations. Efficiency is not worth an unsafe working environment, and no amount of cash will make up for an employee’s workplace injury.