What are the common mistakes that employers make when an incident occurs in the workplace?
When an incident happens in the workplace, employers must respond appropriately, to ensure the safety of their employees and compliance with the law. However, employers can make mistakes in their response that can have serious consequences.
Discover the top 6 Common mistakes that employers do wrong when an incident happens.
1. Failing to report the incident
Employers may not realise that they are legally obligated to report certain types of workplace incidents to the relevant
authorities. Failure to report an incident can result in legal penalties. It may also jeopardise the well-being of the injured employee.
Employers can avoid this mistake by creating clear reporting procedures and ensuring employees are aware of them. This may involve providing necessary training to staff. Posting instructions in visible locations around the workplace is another method to notify staff of procedures.
2. Failing to provide immediate medical attention
Employers must provide prompt medical attention to employees who have been injured in the workplace. Delaying medical attention can result in the injury becoming more severe. In some circumstances, it may even be life-threatening.
Employers can mitigate this mistake by having a designated first aid officer on site. Also, providing first aid training to staff, and keeping a stocked first aid kit available at all time is essential. Employers may also consider implementing an emergency response plan and providing staff with regular safety training.
3. Failing to investigate the incident thoroughly
Employers must investigate the incident thoroughly to determine its cause and identify any contributing factors. Failure to conduct a proper investigation can result in similar incidents happening in the future.
Employers can avoid this mistake by conducting a thorough investigation of the incident as soon as possible after it occurs. This may involve gathering witness statements, reviewing CCTV footage, and consulting with relevant experts, such as safety consultants or engineers.
4. Failing to communicate with the injured employee
Employers must keep the injured employee informed about the progress of their recovery and any other relevant information. Failure to communicate can cause the injured employee to feel isolated or unsupported.
Employers can mitigate this mistake by maintaining regular contact with the injured employee. This is to ensure the inured worker is informed on the progress of their recovery.
Employers may also consider providing counseling or other support services. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) offer free counselling sessions to employees. EAP provides a space to discuss personal or work-related issues that may be impacting mental health.
5. Failing to take corrective action
Once the cause of the incident has been determined, employers must take appropriate corrective action. This is to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. Failure to take corrective action can result in legal penalties. It may also put other employees at risk of the same, costly hazard.
Employers can avoid this mistake by implementing a safety management system with corrective action plan as soon as possible after the incident occurs. This may involve modifying workplace procedures or equipment, providing additional training to staff, or instituting other safety measures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
6. Failing to provide support to the injured employee
Employers must provide appropriate support to the injured employee, which may include suitable duties, medical treatment, counselling, and rehabilitation services. Failure to provide support can result in the employee’s condition worsening or a prolonged absence from work.
Employers may also consider making workplace adjustments, such as modified work duties or flexible working arrangements, to help the injured employee return to work as soon as possible.
Incidents can have serious consequences, and employers must respond appropriately to ensure the well-being of their employees and compliance with the law. Failing to report the incident, provide immediate medical attention, investigate the incident thoroughly, communicate with the injured employee, take corrective action, and provide support to the injured employee are some of the main mistakes that employers do wrong when an incident happens. It is crucial for employers to be aware of these mistakes and take steps to avoid them.
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/
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