A workplace accident can be a life-changing event, both for the person injured and an employer. A serious injury can change someone’s life, which in turn can place your business under the spotlight for both the injured employee’s family and OSHA.
While you can’t heal someone’s injury after the fact, there are ways that you can definitively respond to workplace injuries to help avoid future accidents and avoid OSHA intervention. Here’s an example of how GMS helped one company avoid OSHA scrutiny and put practices in place to prevent additional workplace injuries.
A Swift Reaction to Workplace Safety After a Fall
The incident in question starts with an employee on top of a loaded flatbed trailer. At some point, the employee fell off the trailer and broke his neck in two places. After falling, the injured employee couldn’t move and laid motionless for roughly 30 minutes before another worker found him. The injured employee was then rushed to the hospital and spent 12 days in the intensive care unit before being moved to the physical therapy unit.
While the injured employee was being treated, there was more work to be done back at the site of the accident. Within 60 minutes of the accident, a GMS safety coordinator was on the scene to investigate the incident and interview everyone directly involved with the incident.
Meanwhile, a claims specialist was in constant communication with the company’s owner, the witness, the injured worker’s spouse, and the safety coordinator. During this time, the claims specialist was able to make sure that the safety coordinator had accurate information for him to proceed with the investigation and create a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to make sure that the company didn’t have another employee suffer the same fate.
Five days after the accident, OSHA sent the company a letter requesting a copy of our investigation. The coordinator emailed the investigation to OSHA along with a list of preventative measures the company was implementing to prevent these types of accidents from happening again. The attached SOP detailed that employees were no longer allowed to climb on loaded trailers. It also included information on a tool employees would now use to tarp the load without having to climb on it. Dates for future trainings were also set to teach employees how to use this tool and prevent future injuries.
Within a week of OSHA’s initial request, the organization reviewed the materials and plans GMS put in place and decided not to take any further action. In addition, OSHA didn’t assess any penalties for the accident.
Take the Right Workplace Safety Precautions to Protect You and Your Employees
As tragic as the accident was for everyone involved, it could have been much worse for this company. By acting swiftly and decisively, the company now has practices in place to protect more employees from catastrophic injuries. The investigation and new workplace safety practices also helped prevent the company in question avoid additional issues from OSHA.
With millions of nonfatal workplace injuries occurring every year, it’s crucial to have plans in place to not only keep your employees safe, but also protect your business from OSHA repercussions.
Want to make your workplace safer? Contact GMS today about protecting your business.