An injury at work can have a devastating effect on an individual and a business. The number one aim should always be to prevent accidents and injuries wherever possible. This can be done through the implementation of policies and procedures, upgrading and maintaining equipment, providing personal protective equipment, and upskilling the workforce.
Unfortunately, accidents and injuries are not always avoidable. The aim of workers’ compensation is to minimise the impact of a workplace injury by providing fair compensation and also assist in an employee’s return to work.
What strategies can I implement to minimise the risk of a workplace accident or injury?
There are many strategies a business can incorporate to prevent the risk of a workplace accident or injury, these may include:
- Developing a safety and wellness plan
- Conducting pre-employment medicals
- Providing appropriate workplace training and inductions
- Review previous incidents and whether the risk has been eliminated
- Ensure adequate staffing levels to reduce burnout and fatigue
- Don’t take shortcuts and encourage a promote a safety-first culture
- Inspect and maintain all equipment
- Regularly review safety measures
- Remove all hazards and clutter
It is almost impossible to fully eliminate all risks however, the above measures will ensure the number of risks are significantly reduced.
What do I do if a staff member is injured?
If a staff member is injured in the workplace, the immediate response should be to isolate the risk and if required, seek medical attention from a first aid officer, ambulance, or a medical professional.
Once the immediate risk is mitigated and the staff member is being cared for, an incident report must be completed by a representative in the business. An incident report must include the date and time of the incident, the location, who was involved, what happened, the injury sustained, any witnesses, the actions that followed, and any steps taken to mitigate the risk.
Do I need to report an accident or injury to WorkSafeWA?
In certain instances, a business may be required to report an accident or injury to WorkSafeWA.
These types of injuries include:
- A fracture of the skull, spine or pelvis;
- A fracture of any bone in the arm (other than in the wrists or hand) or in the leg (other than a bone in the ankle or foot);
- An amputation of an arm, a hand, finger, finger joint, leg, foot, toe or toe joint;
- The loss of sight of an eye; and
- Any injury other than the above which, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, is likely to prevent the employee from being able to work within 10 days of the day on which the injury occurred.
All workplace fatalities or serious injuries must be reported immediately by calling the Accident Notification Line on 1800 678 198.
Workers’ compensation – what do I need to do?
Where someone has been injured in the workplace and it will result in time off work, or medical treatment, a worker’s compensation claim should be lodged.
To lodge a worker’s compensation claim, the staff member will need to obtain a Worker’s Compensation First Certificate of Capacity which outlines that the cause of the injury is work-related, the type and extent of the injury, the staff members capacity for work, and any restrictions as a result of the injury. The business will also need to complete a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form and together with the Worker’s Compensation First Certificate of Capacity, the business will need to submit both documents to their insurer for assessment.
The insurer will then assist the business and the employee to manage the staff member’s injury and facilitate their return to work.
Check out our previous blogs, Why it is Important to Check Fitness for Work During Recruitment, Non-Work Related Injuries and Fitness for Work, and Workers’ Compensation and COVID-19 for some more information about workplace injuries and workers’ compensation.
If you’re looking for assistance in managing a work-related injury, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team, via the chat box here or calling us on 08 6150 0043.
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