HR Management & Compliance, Talent

5-Step Response Plan for Workplace Safety Incidents

Workplace accidents are major concerns for any industry—both for concern abo9ut employees, and for costs–by some estimates, workplace accidents cost U.S. employers as much as $1 billion weekly for the direct costs of workers’ compensation alone. Unfortunately, despite how much safety training companies engage in, accidents still happen. When they do, there is opportunity for learning and improvement to minimize future incidents.
We recommend the following these simple, but important steps in response to workplace accidents:

  1. Evaluate the Impact

The first step when responding to a workplace accident is to take stock of what happened. How serious was the injury? How much damage was caused to nonhuman resources (i.e., equipment, inventory). This will help gauge the significance of the risk of such incidents occurring in the future.

  1. Evaluate the Cause

Is this something that could have been prevented? Was this a fluke incident that is unlikely to reoccur or a ticking time bomb that could happen again any minute? What led to the incident? A root-cause analysis can help to determine causation and lay the foundation for workplace improvements.

  1. Revisit Company Policies

Based on the significance of the risk, the likelihood of it reoccurring and the amount of control the company has over that reoccurrence, think about what can be modified in existing safety policies. Most accidents are preventable, although we may not always know the risks ahead of time. Every organization has a responsibility to create a safe environment for employees. Revisiting policies can help organizations stay on top of environmental changes that may create risk.

  1. Re-Train

 When policies are updated, employees need to be retrained or educated. Depending on the nature of the change, this could be done through e-mail and communication from managers, or through required training sessions, either live or on-demand. These changes also represent an opportunity to provide refreshers on existing policies.

  1. Monitor

 Ideally, the same incident won’t happen twice. Still, it’s important to monitor workplace safety with special attention paid to the effect of new policies and their impacts.
Nobody wants to experience safety incidents at work. That’s why companies spend so much time and effort training to prevent them. But, if an injury or accident does occur, it’s important to make sure the situation is evaluated so the organization, and its employees, can learn from the incident and create a safer workplace environment.

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