When there is an accident in your place of business, it is easy to panic. Whether an employee or a customer is injured, anyone would fear for the person’s well being and, after that, the operational consequences of what just occurred. However, it is most important to stay calm, reassure the person, and make sure they are safe; then you must handle the business side of the incident.
Offer medical assistance.
If the person is unconscious or severely injured, call 911 immediately. If the injury is more minor, offer onsite help such as bandages and ask the injured party if they would like you to call an ambulance.
Remove the person from the area or clear the area around them.
If the injured party is safely able to move, bring them to another room to rest away from crowds of people if they desire. If you think it is unsafe for them to move, ask others to calmly exit the area and give the person some space until medical personnel arrive.
Complete an incident report.
Once the injured party is taken care of, you must fully document the incident. Include an explanation of what occurred and the damages caused, witness testimonies, contact information of all involved parties, pictures of the area, and any other relevant information. These reports become invaluable if the victim decides to take legal action against your organization.
Report the accident to your insurance provider and other relevant parties.
Be aware that if the incident required an ambulance, you are legally obligated to notify Occupational Heath and Safety. It is also important to report the accident to your insurance provider promptly; failure to do so can result in having a claim denied.
Conduct an incident assessment.
Part of this process should be undertaken while the injured party is still on site, if possible. Carefully document their explanation of what happened, record any witness testimony, and review any video surveillance of the area if it’s available. Try to determine the root cause of the accident.
Use the incident as a way to improve your risk mitigation techniques.
Mistakes and incidents in any organization are inevitable; however, there are many strategies to limit the number and severity of these occurrences. Consider the cause of the accident, and how that could be prevented from happening in the future. For example, if somebody fell due to an unnoticed spill, consider implementing hourly inspections for slipping hazards. Every incident is a learning opportunity for risk managers and other employees to better control the risk in their organizations.
By following these steps, you will ensure that the injured party gets the help they need as quickly as possible and that your business will be able to continue operations normally. Incidents are obviously not desirable, but if you use them to learn and improve risk management within your organization, there is at least some benefit to counteract the damages. ClearRisk’s Risk Management Information System provides excellent incident and claim tracking tools to help you with this process.