Accidents in the workplace happen at times when they are not expected. Accidents can be the cause of safety negligence and being complacent with the risks and hazards that could injure people and destroy property. Accidents are preventable if employees adhere conscientiously to safety policies but they still happen and the best thing to do when an accident happens is to attend to eliminate it right away and treat the people who are injured. Workplace accidents are the last thing any workplace wants to happen as this will be a liability for the employees and the costs to replace damaged materials. But when it occurs, an investigation has to be conducted to know the causes of the accident and to come up with a solution to avoid those accidents from happening again. Read the article to know more about handling work accidents.
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Accidents in the Workplace
A workplace accident is defined as any type of accident that occurred while an employee is engaging in work on the business of their employer. According to the study done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding the employer-related workplace injuries on the period 2018-2019, there are 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported in 2019. The most common causes of non-fatal accidents at work are:
- Sprains, strains, and tears
- Soreness and pain
- Bruises and contusions
- Cuts, lacerations, and punctures
Safety measures are, unfortunately, being treated complacently, but if all industries would strictly adhere to identifying and preventing hazards, there would be fewer incidences of workers becoming seriously hurt or injured while at work.
How to Respond to Workplace Accidents
It’s important for every organization to establish a systematic method for investigating accidents. Writing a report for every accident that occurs is important to help the investigation to go further that’s why it is a protocol to write a report right away to document the accident. Below are the steps on how all employees in the organization must act accordingly when an accident happens, how to write a work accident report, and how to mitigate the risks to prevent the accident from occurring again in the future.
1. Respond Immediately
When an accident or an injury happens, employees should notify their supervisor right away. The supervisor must then make sure that proper medical treatment or first aid is provided to injured individuals and to eliminate the hazard that caused the accident right away.
2. Write the Report
Once the immediate response has been done, an on-site accident investigation must be conducted. The investigation must take place quickly after the incident so the situation is still fresh in everyone’s mind who is involved in the situation. The format of a work accident report may vary from every industry or organization, but the following steps below are usually present in the report:
- Date, time, and specific location of the accident
- Names, job titles, and department of employees involved, and immediate supervisors
- Names and accounts of witnesses
- Events that lead to the incident
- Environmental conditions and circumstances
- Specific injuries and the type of treatment done to it
- Damage to equipment or materials
3. Analyze the Situation
After the accident has been determined, investigators are usually assigned to dig deeper in analyzing the accident. Through the data gathered from the report, they will then use these to assess the situation. The factors that investigators usually analyze are the following:
- Primary causes
- Secondary causes
- Other contributing factors of the accident
4. Create a Corrective Action Plan
Usually, when an accident occurs, it helps the people in the organization to review their safety protocols thus doing some corrective action. The corrective action must have immediate action and long-term action. Having a corrective action plan can help mitigate any risks that could cause accidents. The corrective action plan must have the following activities:
- Employee training on safe work practices
- Preventive maintenance on equipment and machines
- Evaluation of job procedures and recommendation for changes
- Conducting a job hazard analysis
- Engineering changes that make the operations safer
What are examples of an incident?
The definition of an incident is something that happens as a result of an action. An example of an incident is someone going to jail after being arrested for shoplifting.
What is the difference between an accident and an incident?
An accident is defined as an unexpected event that results in serious injury to a person and also results property damage. An incident is an instance of something happening, an unexpected event or occurrence that doesn’t result in serious injury or illness but may result in property damage.
What are the types of accident?
There are different types of accidents that happen everywhere. Some examples of accidents are accidents at work, road traffic accidents, accidents abroad, accidents involving animals, sports-related accidents, and clinical negligence.
Once the report and the corrective action plan have been completed, store these documents carefully. Storing the data in these documents must be in line with privacy, and health and safety legislation. Make sure all employees will observe strictly all safety protocols in their workstations to assure everyone is working without worrying about any hazardous situations that might happen to them. To help you get started on making a work accident report, download our free sample templates provided above!
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