Everyone laughs at the Youtube videos showing people getting hurt in ordinary ways; it’s okay to admit if you have as well. What’s not so funny is witnessing those incidents in real-life, especially at work. And when work is the small business YOU own, well, it can get a little scary. Who was the person who fell? Was it an employee? Are they hurt? In the immediate aftermath, it can be hard to tell. It may not be until after 24 hours that they feel any sort of pain. The next question for you here is: Do you have workers compensation insurance?
According to the United States Department of Labor, over 4.1 million workers sustain a serious injury on the job every year. The Huffington Post reports that 150 Americans die in a work-related death every day. Though these numbers are hard to look at, they’re important to know, as the information listed here will better help you to understand why you need workers compensation and how it benefits your employees AND your business.
Workers compensation is required by law in some states. For a list of those states, click here. The remainder of this article is going to explain what to do when there you’ve had a workplace accident.
Take Immediate Action Go to the fallen employee and check to see if they are okay. If you believe (or they say) they require further medical assistance, take them to the hospital. If they are unconscious or are in serious mortal peril, call 9-1-1 immediately. Do not move them. When the ambulance team arrives, brief them of the situation at hand. Call the employee’s family and inform them of the accident and give them the information of the hospital. Stay calm on the phone and keep an even tone of voice. Go to the hospital with the employee (so they have a support system) and wait for the family to arrive, offering your support.
Write Down What Happened If you witnessed the accident, write down everything you saw that happened immediately prior to and after the accident. If the employee decides to try and sue your small business for the cost of their injury and wage loss, you will have a detailed list of what happened and evidence to give to your lawyers.
Contact Your Insurance Company If you have (you most likely will) workers compensation and general liability insurance, you will need to contact your insurance company and brief them on the situation. You will file a claim with your general liability insurance policy and make sure the employee gets their benefits from the workers compensation package.
Final Thoughts As in other insurance situations, do not immediately take the blame for the accident. Exclaiming “I’m sorry” or “it’s my fault” will lay all of the blame on you. In doing this your employee will hold you responsible for the accident and try to get more money out of the situation, leaving your small business in dire financial straits. Simply offer your support to the employee and contact your insurance company.
Workers compensation and other small business insurance policies protects your business and your employees. Is there any reason not to invest? Click here to learn more about small business insurance with CoverHound today.