In 2020, approximately 2.1 million employees reported work-related injuries.
That’s a lot of injuries. However, employers generally require that employees report all injuries, including minor ones that don’t require medical care.
If you run a company, you should have a system in place for your employees to report injuries they encounter.
You can do this by using an employee injury report form.
As you begin creating this document, here are the top things you should include in it.
Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
Injuries in the workplace happen in many ways and for many reasons. Here are the two main categories of workplace injuries:
Traumatic injuries are those that occur from one particular incident. Some common causes of traumatic injuries include slips, falls, overexertion, and equipment contact.
A traumatic injury generally happens quickly and unexpectedly. For example, an employee might slip on a freshly washed floor while walking through a hallway. Another example could be an employee getting a hazardous or irritating chemical or other material in their eyes. You should provide employees with something like this Eyewash Station Safety Shower from STOREMASTA if you know employees will be handling hazardous materials, but that doesn’t mean that it still can’t be an incredibly painful experience, or cause significant trauma and damage to the eyes.
An employee injury might be minor, such as a cut or bruise. It might also be severe, such as a blow to the head that causes brain damage.
A work injury might also fall into the category of occupational disease. This injury does not happen from one incident. Instead, it occurs over time.
For example, if a person’s job requires constant repetition with their hands, they might develop carpal tunnel.
Another example is an employee developing lung disease from breathing in toxic fumes in the workplace over many years.
While these injuries occur in different ways, both are work-related injuries, and your company should document every injury an employee develops or reports.
The Purposes of Documenting Injuries
Employers should encourage their employees to complete an injury report form anytime they encounter an injury. It doesn’t matter how small or big the injury is; they should report all injuries.
Why do you need your employees to fill these out? What is the purpose of documenting injuries?
Well, here are some of the purposes of documenting these incidents:
Workers’ Compensation Claims
The primary purpose of requiring employee report forms is for workers’ compensation claims. Workers’ compensation is an insurance program you purchase to protect your business and employees if injuries happen.
When an employee gets hurt, they can file a claim for damages with the workers’ compensation company. Workers’ comp insurance companies won’t pay these claims without the proper documentation.
They need to know that the injury took place at work or while working, and they want to know the details. If you don’t have an employee injury form to submit with the claim, the insurance provider will likely deny paying it.
You can find more info about how this works if you have questions.
Your business also needs these forms to improve safety in the workplace. You can track the injuries that occur, how they happen, and when they take place.
Next, you can use this information to make any necessary changes to increase safety on the job.
Evidence for Lawsuits
You can use these forms as evidence if an employee sues you. For example, if an employee sues you for damages from an injury but doesn’t have evidence from an injury report, they might not win the case.
What to Include in an Employee Injury Report Form
Understanding why you need these forms is vital if you run a business, but you must also learn what to include in them, as this is crucial.
Here is a breakdown of the primary things your forms should have on them:
Date, Time, and Location
An injury report should also state the basic details about the incident. For example, when did the incident occur? What time did it happen, and where did it take place?
You must document these details for insurance claims, and your employees should be as detailed as possible with this information.
Employee’s Name, Witnesses, and Others Involved
The next set of information is the employee’s name, witnesses, and names of others involved. Who was injured? You must list this person’s name on the document to ensure that you know who the report is about.
Did other people see the accident occur? If so, it’s vital to list their names on this document. Additionally, was anyone else hurt in the incident?
If others were hurt, you should list their names, but you should also ask them to fill out injury forms for themselves.
Person’s Name Making the Injury Report
In many cases, the injured person is the one making the report. But, there are times when someone else reports the injury for the injured party.
For example, if someone is unconscious and goes to the hospital, another person might have to fill out the report for them. If this happens, the person making the claim must include their name.
Details About the Incident and Causes
It’s also crucial to write down the details about the incident. For example, what caused it to happen? What took place that led to the accident?
Medical Treatment Provided, Accepted, and Recommended
As an employer, you must provide medical treatment to your employees after incidents take place. You should include these details on your form, including what medical treatment you recommended and provided.
Additionally, you should have a box that states if the employee accepted the treatment you offered and suggested. If they deny treatment, you should have them sign their name stating that they didn’t want treatment.
Employer’s Name and Unemployment Insurance Information
Finally, your form should include your business name and unemployment insurance information. You should state the unemployment insurance company’s name, phone number, and policy number.
Protect Your Business Through Proper Documentation
Developing safety measures in the workplace can help you prevent injuries. However, there is still a chance that your employees might incur injuries while working.
You can protect your business by creating a thorough employee injury report form for your employees to use if they ever encounter incidents that cause harm.
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