It does not matter where you work, it’s possible that you or someone you work with could become the victim of a workplace injury. When a workplace injury occurs, panic is a natural reaction, especially if the injury is serious. However, you need to make sure that you are remaining calm and once things have settled down, document the injury. Here are five things to remember about documenting a workplace injury:
1 – Remember That Only Injuries Needing Medical Assistance Need to be Documented
In many lines of work, small cuts, scrapes or bruises are the norm. These are not injuries that you will need to document. What you will need to document, however, is any injury that requires the assistance of a medical professional. So, a cut on a finger that requires a bandage does not need to be recorded, but a cut on a finger requiring stitches will need to be documented.
2 – Remember to Interview Witnesses and Take Notes
As soon as possible following the injury, notes should be taken and witnesses interviewed. Details about how the accident occurred and what the outcome was should be noted. You will need this information in order to fill out the proper forms for OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
3 – Remember to Fill Out the Proper OSHA Forms
You will also need to remember to fill out the proper forms for OSHA. Fill out OSHA form 300 first. It is just a log of each incident that occurred with only minor details listed. This form needs to be filled out within seven days of the incident. OSHA form 301 should be used to provide more details on the incident, including the information learned from the interview process. This should also include safety information and how you can prevent similar incidents from occurring. You also need to post a different log, OSHA form 300A, in a conspicuous place.
4 – Remember to Store Your Documents Correctly
You do not need to submit any of this information to OSHA, but you need to store them correctly in case OSHA comes to your workplace to see them. All documents should remain on file for five years, unless an incident is in litigation. In that situation, it should remain on file.
5 – Remember to Ensure Confidentiality
Finally, you should make sure that you are keeping any documents with the employees name on them, or documents that contain identifying information in a separate area that is kept locked. Employee medical records cannot be out in the open.
Handling workplace injuries correctly is imperative. This includes documenting the incident. By keeping the above information in mind, you can be sure that you are documenting in compliance with the law.
Informational Credit to 911 Industrial Response Inc.
This article is from Emma Sturgis, a freelance writer living in Boston. She writes on a variety of topics, including politics and law. When not at her computer, she enjoys film noir and rock climbing.