What to do if someone gets injured?
Businesses should always take the necessary precautions when it comes to an employee’s personal safety in the workplace. But accidents can’t always be avoided, so what should you do when someone gets injured?
Latest statistics for 2015/16 show that 144 workers were killed because of a workplace accident (source: RIDDOR), and an estimated 621,000 workers had a non-fatal work injury (source: Labour Force Survey). Around 200,000 of these non-fatal injuries led to a 3 day work absence, and 152,000 led to absences of a week or more.
However, not all of these accidents are reported. In fact, non-fatal injuries are often underreported by employers by around 50%. There were only 72,702 reports of non-fatal injuries reported. Common injuries include lifting, handling or carrying (20%), slipping over (19%), and being struck by a moving object (10%). It’s estimated that 4.5 million working days were lost due to workplace injuries, with an average of 7.2 days absence per person (source: Labour Force Survey).
What to do when an injury occurs?
If someone gets injured, the correct procedure should be followed by employers as they are responsible if their employee has an accident at work, regardless of its severity.
All accidents should be dealt with in the same, fair manner, and meet the health and safety guidelines of RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013). It is illegal if an employer does not satisfy the RIDDOR requirements when a workplace injury occurs.
1. Look after your employee
The first and most important step is to look after your employee and get them the right treatment. If it’s an emergency, ring 999, and if it’s a non-emergency but still potentially serious, take the employee to the nearest hospital or medical practice. Make sure you give a detailed account of how they got the injury.
2. Cordon off the area
If the accident was serious, make sure the place where the injury occurred is cordoned off to the staff. Not only will this stop any other accidents happening, but the area is secure and ready to be investigated if needed. It may be a good idea to take photos of where the accident happened.
3. Record the accident
Make sure the accident is logged in the employer’s accident book. If you took photos of the accident scene, include these in the accident book. Also include any witness statements.
4. Ask for support
Start by asking your employee if you can help with their recovery. A majority of businesses can offer medical treatment and care from individual occupational schemes. If they’re a trade union member, they can also get in touch with your union who will offer additional support.
5. Notify HSE
You need to notify the Health and Safety Executive of the accident as soon as you can. This is because all employers must adhere to strict workplace health and safety guidelines imposed by the Health and Safety Executive.
What can you do to reduce workplace accidents?
We offer a range of Health and Safety courses that will aim to raise awareness of potential workplace hazards, thus preventing accidents and injuries at all costs. We have the NEBOSH Level 3 General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety, as well as Health & Safety Consultancy.