Be Prepared, Injuries Happen
Let’s face it, injuries hurt! And it is not only the physical pain of an injury that can cause damage to a business. There have been many studies done on the financial impact that an injury has on a business, and while I could go into all the numbers and stats that have been found, the common theme amongst the studies is simple – injuries are expensive and can hurt a business. Therefore, every business must spend some time preparing before an injury happens so that if or when an injury occurs, it has the lowest impact on the business.
Being prepared for an injury starts with making a commitment to safety and to a culture of open communication for everyone within the organization. Creating a written safety program with a light duty or return to work section is paramount. The safety program should contain procedures for reporting and investigating injuries to ensure a defined process is followed each time an injury occurs.
Connecting with an Occupational Health Clinic, a medical office that specializes in treating workplace injuries and getting injured employees back to work as soon as possible, is your next step. Metro areas provide a few different clinic options – ask each of them what their services entail to find the best fit for your company. Make sure to let the clinic know what light duty activities are available in case an injury requires some physical restrictions to heal properly.
Once your written policies are created and your clinic relationship established, make sure everyone within your company knows the injury process. Explaining this to the employees before an emergency allows everyone a chance to know what to expect and make a tough time easier to handle.
By taking time to prepare for an injury before it happens, you can turn a potentially traumatic and costly situation into one that not only minimizes the financial hurt to the business, but builds a greater employee-centric culture where your team members are proud to be part of your organization. Implement the seven steps outlined below into your company as soon as you can!
Before the Injury:
- Create written procedures and policies for injury process.
- Establish a relationship with an Occupational Health Clinic.
- Educate all employees on your injury procedures.
At the Time of the Injury:
- Direct an injured employee to the Occupational Health Clinic for treatment.
- Call Occupational Health Clinic before injured employee arrives so the clinic can be ready to treat the employee and have as much background information as possible.
After the Injury:
- Ensure open communication between all parties – injured employee, management and the doctor.
- Get the injured employee back to work within 3 business days of injury, adhering to any restrictions from the doctor.