Workplace injuries can have a devastating effect on workers, families and of course companies. It’s important your company complies with best practice workplace safety procedures to ensure the safety of its employees and also to protect yourself against possible liability claims.
From employer responsibilities to what to do in the event of an injury, we detail all the important things you need to know about workplace injuries.
First and foremost it is a company’s responsibility to provide a safe workplace for all employees; failure to do so can result in large penalties for employers. Employers should provide a space where staff can safely use daily work systems, handle hazardous materials and work machinery safely with adequate training and support systems in place.
An often-overlooked element of workplace safety is harassment and bullying within the workplace. Employees should ensure that they have processes in place for staff to safely address workplace bullying and harassment safely.
A workplace culture focused on safety needs to be the goal, and this starts from the top down. Ensure staff is adequately trained on all Occupational Health and Safety practices and encourage dialogue on safety practices and procedures within the workplace.
Employers are required by law to pay workers compensation insurance in each state that they employ staff. In the event of an injury, this insurance covers wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured whilst at work; workers, however, relinquish their rights to sue the employer.
Once employers have defined clear responsibly within the workplace the staff, needs to make a commitment to upholding the companies safety practices. The staff has a commitment to themselves and their colleagues to report unsafe practices and also ensure that their actions are not in any way a danger to other workers.
What do you do if a workplace injury occurs?
Employers should complete a documented register of the illness or injury that occurred in the workplace; both employer and the injured employee should complete it. If the injury is serious, it should also be registered with WorkSafe immediately, and the employer should assist in seeking medical treatment straight away. Worksafe will require you to complete an incident notification form within 48 hours, and you will also be expected to keep it in your files for at least 5 years.
When an injury or accident occurs within the workplace, it’s important that your company has a clear procedure for investigation to ensure that you will not see a repeat of the incident. This may involve implementing new training or changing certain practices within the workplace.
Employers are required by law to provide assistance in the rehabilitation of employees injured in the workplace. Likewise, an employee must ensure that they participate in rehabilitation so that they continue to receive their compensation. It is illegal to terminate an employee who was injured at work.
Moving forward, it is important that your injured employee can return to the workforce as quickly as possible (with doctor approval of course). It is an employer’s responsibility provide alternative work that the injured employ can complete until they are fully fit and able to return to their previous job.
About the Author:
This article was written by the team at The Temporary Fencing Shop, specialists in temporary fencing products and crowd control barriers across Australia.