Though health and safety procedures have reduced the number of workplace injuries, they still occur. In fact, 2012 statistics indicate that, on average, 672 workers were injured on the job every day. Even if you’ve done all you can do to reduce occurrences of injuries at your workplace, you still have to be prepared to report an injury if one does occur.
Reporting an on-site injury is the responsibility of both the employer and the employee. There are two types of incidents—true injuries and near misses, and both types need to be reported. Failure to report can cause the worker to lose out on compensation for the injury and it can lead to heavy fines for the company. In order for a worker’s claim to be eligible, the proper documentation must be filed with the right authorities. Properly reported injuries also allow companies to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
Here are three steps to reporting an on-site injury.
1. Inform the Employer
If an on-site injury occurs, the worker must immediately tell the client and the temporary staffing agency that employs them about the details of the incident. Even if the on-site injury was minor, it must still be reported. Even the smallest injuries can have long-term effects. They can worsen over time and become a bigger issue than expected. If this occurs and the incident wasn’t immediately reported to the employer, it can be difficult to argue that the situation happened at work.
The employer must address the injury that’s been reported to him by providing first aid according to standard practice and arranging transport to the hospital if needed. It is then the employer's duty to investigate the accident and correct the issue before anyone else is harmed.
2. Reporting Minor Injuries
Depending on where you live, the process of reporting an on-site injury to the right authorities will vary—you may be required to report the accident to different labour boards and health and safety boards. You may also need to alert your union, if applicable.
Each authority might also need different types of forms to be filled out. These forms can include a report of injury from the initial incident, a report based on the fact that the worker had to seek medical help through a family doctor, emergency physician, or walk-in clinic, or a report on the first-aid treatment provided at the workplace. Typically, these forms must be filled out and sent to the appropriate officials within just a few days following the incident.
3. Reporting Critical Injuries
Of course, critical injuries need immediate action. Reporting a more serious injury includes contacting the police and ambulance services first. The critical injury will then have to be reported to the Ministry of Labour Health and Safety Contact Center by direct means, the Joint Health and Safety Committee, and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board as well, along with the company’s union if needed. A notice must also be given to a director of the ministry in writing. Remember the direct employer of temporary staff is the staffing firm who placed the worker at your site.
Be Ready to Report
Accidents happen, but when they do, you must know how to act to be in compliance with your area’s health and safety laws. All on-site injuries and near misses must be properly documented and reported to the correct officials. The reporting process must be done in a timely manner and all documents must be filled out and signed in full, or employees can risk losing out on compensation and employers can risk being fined for non-compliance. It is imperative that you, the Staffing Firm you work with, and the employees work as a team, towards a positive outcome for all parties involved.