Workplace accidents can and do happen even when precautions are taken. While employees can take steps to ensure their own safety, the actions of managers and employers also make a difference. If an accident or injury occurs, there are some steps supervisors should follow.

Assessing an employee’s needs comes first when an accident happens, and one may need to call 911 in an emergency or send a worker to a medical care facility. When the injured worker is receiving the appropriate treatment, the scene of an accident should then be secured. Limiting access to the scene and to any equipment that was used and saving any necessary materials is important so that the scene is preserved for investigators.

There is always paperwork required after workplace accidents take place, and it is a manager or supervisor’s job to file the appropriate claims with the employer’s insurance carrier within 24 hours of receiving notification of an injury or illness. The OSHA 300 form and other documents may be needed depending on where an employee works.

When a worker is medically cleared to come back to work, an employer can use transitional programs if his or her previous job duties are unable to be performed. These programs can be part-time, in another department and even with a different salary as the intent is to keep an employee engaged with the company while still giving the company an experienced worker.

It is important for employees and employers to remember that an injured worker has rights after on-the-job accidents occur. Workers’ compensation benefits may be available to cover the costs of necessary medical treatment as well as to provide a portion of the wages lost during the recovery period.