What to do when an accident happens

When an accident happens and someone gets hurt the first thing you must do is to assess the situation.

  • Is the injured employee in further danger of injury? Are other employees in danger from the same source? If not, check the severity of the injuries.
  • Is an ambulance required or can the employee drive or be driven? Have someone make the appropriate arrangements as soon as possible. If the worker is seriously injured, ensure they are kept comfortable but avoid moving them if there is any suspicion of a spinal or head injury.
  • Unless it is a minor injury, contact the employee’s next of kin and let them know what is going on and where the injured employee is going to be, or has been taken.
  • Notify your insurer and your Rehabilitation personnel. They will need to get started on an Injury Management or Return to Work Plan so that the injured worker can be brought back into the work force as soon as is physically practicable, thereby minimising the cost in both financial and most importantly, human terms.
  • Give the injured employee the Workers’ Compensation claim documentation they may need. Impress on them that they may need a Medical Certificate to lodge a lost time claim.
  • Investigate the accident carefully and find out how it happened, (take photographs of the scene if necessary, draw sketches, take witness statements). If you need to, RiskNet can have someone out to assess the situation within 48 hours.  Don’t forget that some accidents must be reported to WorkCover.
  • Act while the accident is still fresh in everybody’s minds, and don’t forget to include the injured worker’s version of what happened.
  • Then take steps to eliminate the causes of the accident.
  • Make a record of all of your actions.