How to Handle the Aftermath of a Workplace Injury

Accidents happen – it’s an unfortunate reality for many employees, who are susceptible to accidents at work, and employers, who often are monetarily liable for medical bills and reparations after the fact. While the proper precautions can significantly lessen the risks associated with workplace injuries, employers should be aware of the proper processes following an accident.

To better control the safety of your individual employees, professional reputation and legal liabilities, follow these three must-do strategies.

1. Respond immediately

Acting fast after an employee is injured limits the risk of life-threatening complications. First, call 911 immediately following a workplace accident – even if wounds seem minor. Head and back injuries can surface hours, even days, post-incident, and many minor injuries worsen when left unaddressed. If an employee is resistant to being medically assessed, insist on their cooperation.

While waiting for medical professionals to arrive, you’re wise to address any injuries requiring immediate attention to the best of your ability. Apply pressure on bleeding wounds, administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if advised by 911 dispatchers and try to keep the injured party as calm as possible throughout the process. Do not attempt to administer any procedures you’re not trained in unless otherwise told by a dispatcher.

After the employee is in proper, professional care, contact the immediate family to inform them of the accident. If the employee is conscious, they may prefer to call and inform their relatives first-hand. As long as they are to communicate calmly and clearly, you should respect their wishes.

2. Document everything 

Without proper documentation, companies run the risk of OSHA investigations and lawsuits. The first form to fill out is an OSHA 300, which requires employers to log incidents within six business days of their occurrences. Managers also must fill out a 301, accurately describing the details of the incident, no later than seven business days after an event. Finally, the last required document is a 300A form, which is an annual summary of all workplace related injuries. These forms must be available for viewing between February 1st and April 30th, so make sure to have everything properly outlined prior in case of a requested review. Even if your company is not reviewed, it’s best to maintain all records for at least five years, and potentially more for pending litigation.

With so many complicated forms to complete, many employers rely on Occupational Injury and Illness software to record, track and produce reports should they be demanded. Not only is it convenient, but OSHA software helps employers avoid costly fines related to incomplete forms, allows more time to strategize, clearly illustrates trends related to office injuries and ensures businesses can effectively manage their reports without fault.

3. Prevention programs

There are countless practices that keep employees safe before they encounter harm at work. First, establish automated alerts that employees can receive via email or smartphone messages. Second, keep up with the latest in facility developments. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private industry employers reported 229,190 cases of falls, slips and trips in 2013 alone. 327,060 cases reportedly involved sprains,
strains and tears, and 170,450 were related to back injuries. Many slip and fall incidents can be eradicated with proper facility maintenance products. Consider buying commercial-grade floor mats that will sop up rain puddles near doorways and eliminate slick floors due to inclement weather. Although somewhat less common, umbrella stands also capture water droplets from wet umbrellas and help employees evade potentially harmful puddles. Make sure to keep comprehensive emergency kits on hand, with antiseptic wipes, bandages, gauze, aspirin and ointment. Post hazardous warnings and signs in case of spills. Also, clearly indicated restricted areas in the workplace that require key card access by approved and trained employees only.

Unfortunately, workplace injuries impacts go beyond the administrative duties of an organization. In fact, acute injuries and chronic injuries are both common causes of absenteeism in the workplace. Unscheduled absenteeism costs employers roughly $3,600 per year for each hourly worker and $2,650 each year for salaried employees. These costs stem from wages, replacement worker fees and administrative costs of managing absences. These numbers don’t take into account the legal fees associated with workplace injuries, the time to manage them and the diminished bottom-line thereafter – so the effects are greater than the numbers alone.

One of the simplest ways to boost morale and enhance productivity following a workplace injury is by executing educational safety programs. Upon completion, all employees should be required to sign certifications to show they have been properly educated in workplace safety. When developing an education program, make sure to assess the key elements of workplace safety as outlined by OSHA: management leadership, worker participation, hazard identification, hazard prevention and control, education and training, and program evaluation and improvement, for employees, management and executives alike.

About the Author:

Jennifer McCarrick is the Content Coordinator for Eagle Mat. Eagle Mat and Floor Products proudly represents the finest in commercial mats and floor covering products in the marketplace. The Maryland-based company is actively involved in the sale and rental of matting, safety flooring, and other products that help businesses deliver the highest quality of service and safety to clients, patrons, and employees alike. Visit the company website and online store at http://www.eaglemat.com.

Airport Safety Week, FAA Studies Air Traffic Controller Fatigue and More!

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • Airports Safety Week
  • FAA study conducted by NASA on Air Traffic Controllers and Chronic Fatigue
  • Safety concerns raised after Pearson runway accident

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you. Until next week, enjoy the program!

EHS This Week Resources

For more information on the stories and resources mentioned in this week’s podcast, check out the links below.

  • Canadian Airports Launch First Ever Airports Safety Week. Click here
  • FAA study conducted by NASA on Air Traffic Controllers and Chronic Fatigue.Click here
  • 18 Year Old in Critical Condition After Runway Incident. Click here

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Airport Safety Week, FAA Studies Air Traffic Controller Fatigue and More!

Five Ways to Become the MacGyver of Sustainability Reporting!

First things first, why should you track and report on sustainability? There are many ways in which organizations who report on corporate sustainability benefit both internally and externally.  From an internal standpoint, Sustainability Reporting provides a deeper understanding of a business’s risks, opportunities, strategic direction, operating efficiency, and how they rank in the market and stack up against the competition.  Externally it can greatly impact your brand awareness and loyalty, empower stakeholders, demonstrate your organization’s sustainable development over time, and mitigate/reverse negative environmental, social and governance impacts.  But for those who are new to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, it can seem a daunting task.  Where do you start, who do you involve and what’s the best way to disseminate the information?

In this first post of our Sustainability Reporting Series, we share 5 Best Practices to keep in mind when embarking on your organization’s CSR journey:

Know Your Data
Start with your company’s data; how it’s defined, organized, validated and understood across your organization.  Clearly structuring your data and putting variance measures in place will ensure data integrity and reporting repeatability.  This can be supported by using software to streamline your data collection process and get a 360 view of sustainability performance.

In addition, if your data is consistent across all departments you’ll gain the ability to repurpose ongoing performance reports for Sustainability Reporting.  Similarly, new reports created for your company’s sustainability efforts can be leveraged in other departments for internal communications, recruiting, due diligence and marketing campaigns.

Focus on Material Issues
CSR professionals often struggle with which activities, impacts and successes should be reported to stakeholders, and how. In comes the notorious Materiality assessment.  Not familiar?  A Materiality assessment is the process that organizations go through to identify and assess the potential environmental, social and governance issues that most affect their business and stakeholders.  They then refine this inventory down to a select list of topics that inform corporate strategy, targets, and reporting. Example: Coca Cola’s “Three Ws”: Women, Water and Well-Being.

The rules employed during this assessment will vary from business to business depending on a variety of factors such as size, business model, and whether they are first time reporters of sustainability or have been practicing for years.  What is the same for every business is the end goal; effectively communicating their sustainability story and engaging stakeholders.  Most companies turn to the expertise of organizations like GRI when building out their materiality process, adopting their Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

Contemplate Format & Frequency
When deciding on the format of your report it’s wise to take your audience’s preferences into account to ensure you’re communicating in the most effective manner.  The primary formats to consider are Print, PDF, HTML, and Dynamic.  Most organization will adopt a hybrid approach to satisfy diverse needs across the different groups that make up their report readers.  In a study conducted in 2010 surveying European sustainability leaders, 45% said they still used stand-alone PDF reporting, closely followed by a PDF/HTML Hybrid approach with 41%.  At this time the study indicated that only 12% of respondents had opted for an HTML/Dynamic approach, but GRI predicts that by 2025 all reporting will move to dynamic online models that provide real-time interactive data.

Hand-in-hand with this trend is a shift in reporting frequency as new technology makes updating, refreshing and disseminating information faster and easier.  Many organizations have begun leveraging data technology to automate and integrate systems for real-time reporting and to further demonstrate a proactive commitment towards sustainable economic development.  Gone are the days of looking at Sustainability Reports once a year.  Stakeholders want regular updates on the progress of an organization’s environmental impacts, social practices, and governance policies.

Go Beyond Performance
As business professionals, we live and die by performance metrics and carry that behavior into most aspects of our professional life.  There’s a comfort in being able to demonstrate through facts and figures that we are delivering on the promises we make and providing value.  But in focusing solely on performance data, companies miss out on some of the most valuable opportunities to share their story in a dynamic and authentic way.  Earlier we talked about increased frequency and proactive reporting; another growing trend is to include various forms of Topical data to increase opportunities for dialogue and provide greater transparency.   Some examples of Topical reporting tools include Case Studies, Blogs, Newsletters, Infographics, and Social Media.  Increasing the frequency of performance-based data reports can prove to be more cumbersome and difficult, Topical information however is more dynamic and can help your business easily provide frequent, ongoing updates to stakeholders.

Some great examples of proactive topical updates are Coca Cola’s 2020 Environmental Goals Infographic, Johnson & Johnson’s Goals Progress Report, Procter & Gamble’s Promoting Sustainable Development Case Study, Accenture’s Sustainability Twitter Feed, and Agnico Eagle’s Sustainable Development Video.

Engage Your Stakeholders
Stakeholder engagement is fundamental to CSR programs.  Success is based on those individuals that your program materially affects – customers, employees, local communities, suppliers, investors, etc.  Traditionally stakeholder engagement programs are primarily comprised of surveys following the release of CSR reports, asking individuals to boil their feedback down to a tick box.  Impersonal and rudimentary, this method fails to capture at least 80% of the value these programs have to offer and leads to disengaged participants who lack an emotional connection to the company or its goals.

Today we receive 5x more information in a day than we did 30 years ago and not only is the media everywhere, but it’s everyone.  A company’s brand and reputation are in the hands of its stakeholders making engagement a necessity, not an option.  Some developing practices amongst sustainability leaders include:

  • Involving stakeholders at the on-set in idea-generative, innovative, collaborative exercises
  • Leveraging a variety of communication technologies such as web-chats, blogs, newsletters and online surveys to reach as many stakeholders as possible and avoid relying on the ‘usual suspects’
  • Creating online Stakeholder Communities for real time engagement where businesses can collect feedback, distribute information, crowdsource ideas, proactively discuss solutions, and build relationships and trust
  • Utilizing Stakeholder management tools to track and measure engagement over time and adjust programs accordingly

This was just a small introduction into what companies should consider when implementing CSR programs and reporting on sustainability to their respective stakeholders.  Over the course of the next few months re-visit the Intelex Blog for the next installment in our Sustainability Reporting Series where we take a deeper dive into Materiality assessments.

 

 

 

Five Ways to Become the MacGyver of Sustainability Reporting!

Meet an Intelex Client: Darrel Nickerson, J.D. Irving

Darrel is the corporate director of safety at J.D. Irving; a privately owned conglomerate company with over 130 years of service primarily in the forestry industry as well as other business lines such as; paper production, transportation, shipbuilding, and consumer products. J.D. Irving operates across Canada and the United States with headquarters in Saint John, New Brunswick and has over 15,000 employees.

In this video, Darrel discusses how Intelex’s Incident Management and Communication Solution was able to accommodate the unique needs and challenges of all their diverse business lines.

Prior to Intelex, J.D. Irving was seeking a one-fits-all solution that could be configured to fit all their business lines ranging in size and complexity. They found the one-fits-all solution they had been searching for after seeing how Intelex could accommodate the requirements of their various business lines and be configured to meet the specific needs of all their users. As Darrel explains, “We try to make sure that we set the systems up so that they are easy and it’s very easy to do that with Intelex, it’s very configurable.”

J.D. Irving implemented Intelex’s Incident Management solution back in 2011. Intelex was able to capture data and use it effectively to prevent injuries across all business lines regardless of their size or complexities. “We found with Intelex that it’s got the breadth and depth to be able to handle our complex business, yet not bog down our smaller business. We could also make it easy enough for them to manage within the system” says Darrel.

Most recently, in 2014, J.D. Irving implemented Intelex’s Communications Management application. They are using it to track government and regulatory visits. “Anytime we have regulator come to one of our sites we put that visit into Communications. If there happens to be an order written we can apply findings, so we can assign out a corrective action to someone” explains Darrel. The Communications Management application allows visibility into the monitoring of what type of communication with regulators is occurring on visits and the ability to assign actions to be completed following visits along with proper escalation if necessary.

With Intelex’s solutions Darrel and all employees at J.D. Irving are able to ensure governance and manage best practices across the organization.

To find out more about Intelex’s EHS software solutions, visit our website or Request a Demo to speak to someone about your business’s unique needs!

Meet an Intelex Client: Darrel Nickerson, J.D. Irving

EPA New Methane Emissions Rule, Occupational Deaths on the Rise and More!

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • Occupational Death rates on the rise!
  • EPA imposes new rule on Methane Emissions
  • Cal/OSHA Issues Citations to Exxon Mobil for Health and Safety Violations

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you. Until next week, enjoy the program!

EHS This Week Resources

For more information on the stories and resources mentioned in this week’s podcast, check out the links below.

  • Deaths in the Workplace Continue to Rise. Click here
  • EPA New Rule on Methane Emissions. Click here
  • Citations Issued to Exxon Mobil for Health & Safety Violations. Click here
  • Intelex Receives $160M in Strategic Growth Investment. Click here

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EPA New Methane Emissions Rule, Occupational Deaths on the Rise and More!

When Networking Meets Fun at the TechConnex Golf Tournament

The Intelex Team has finished up their round which marks the end of the 2015 Intelex/TechConnex Annual Golf Tournament!  Intelex is proud to return as the title sponsor of this can’t-miss networking event for the third year in a row.

This year’s tournament was hosted at the renowned Wooden Sticks, an 18-hole championship course. Each hole is inspired by famous courses from around the world including St. Andrews, Augusta and Oakmont!  This unique touch combined with the warm weather and sunshine created the perfect day for the sold-out event.

A long-time friend of Intelex, TechConnex works to advance the growth of small and midsize tech businesses in the Greater Toronto Area.  This tournament provides attendees (and leaders) from the tech industry an opportunity to network and build lasting business relationships all while enjoying a beautiful day on the greens!

Congratulations on another successful event, TechConnex!

When Networking Meets Fun at the TechConnex Golf Tournament

Meet an Intelex Client: Harold Fowler, BBA Aviation

Harold is a Data Systems Assistant and Intelex System Administrator at BBA Aviation, a market-leading provider of global aviation support and aftermarket services.  Based out of London, BBA operates at over 230 locations on 5 continents and has more than 13,000 employees worldwide.  In this video, Harold explains what separated Intelex from the pack when BBA was looking to replace their previous system.  

Before implementing Intelex, BBA was using another EHS system that simply wasn’t meeting their expectations.  It failed in configurability, and making necessary changes proved to be a very expensive and lengthy process.  They began their search for a more flexible solution that could be customized to satisfy the organization’s needs. 

Intelex proved to be highly configurable and was able to customize a system for BBA in a way that did not cause drastic change throughout the organization.  Switching from one system to another is often met with push-back from users, but because Intelex is so configurable, “we’ve had the ability to let those users who have those issues really change up their views to suit whatever makes them comfortable”, Harold says.

BBA is extremely happy with their custom Intelex solution, and Harold says their ”experience with Intelex is definitely 9 out of 10, and I only say 9 out of 10 because I see what’s coming up now after the user conference. So I’m sure in 2 or 3 months from now it will be 10 out of 10”.

Watch the video above to learn more about Harold and BBA Aviation’s experience with Intelex.  To find an Intelex solution that meets the needs of your business and industry, visit our website or Request a Demo Today!

Meet an Intelex Client: Harold Fowler, BBA Aviation

Rail Safety Improvement Act, EPA Toxic Spill, Massive Explosion in China and More!

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • Massive Explosion In China Tianjin
  • EPA Spills Toxic Wastewater Into Colorado’s Animas River
  • The Rail Safety Improvement Act & Positive Train Control
  • NIOSH to examine vehicle crashes in Oil & Gas Industry

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you. Until next week, enjoy the program!

EHS This Week Resources

For more information on the stories and resources mentioned in this week’s podcast, check out the links below.

  • EPA Spills Toxic Wastewater Into Colorado’s Animas River. Click here
  • The Rail Safety Improvement Act & Positive Train Control. Click here
  • NIOSH wants to study vehicle crashes in oil and gas industry. Click here
  • Massive Explosion In China Tianjin. Click here

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  • The Rail Safety Improvement Act & Positive Train Control
Rail Safety Improvement Act, EPA Toxic Spill, Massive Explosion in China and More!