Workplace Accident? - Cover it up, or uncover your safety gaps

No one wants to have to deal with a workplace accident, but the reality is they happen every day. They are however, very avoidable when you are committed to workplace health and safety.

A company’s response to a workplace accident can vary greatly. You can put a blanket over it and risk another accident occurring, or you can turn this accident into an opportunity to improve worker safety. The latter allows you to uncover your safety gaps and ensure high compliance standards.

What to do if an accident occurs in the workplace

Your immediate action can save a life

Assess the situation

  • Check for potential risks that might endanger both yourself and your employee
  • Provide assistance and obtain any necessary medical treatment (do they need first-aid or immediate medical attention?)
  • If emergency medical response is required, contact your relevant emergency services, and provide as much relevant information as you can to the trained health care professionals during the hand-over procedures

Secure the Scene

  • Secure and limit access to the scene to avoid secondary incidents
  • Make sure to preserve the incident site until an inspector arrives so that you can accurately conduct reporting

Remote or lone worker procedure

  • If no one is at the scene, assessing the situation becomes much more complicated.
  • Effective duty of care is to monitor your remote/lone worker’s activities with continued communication and have emergency response procedures in place in the case of an accident.

Find out more about how to keep communication and create emergency response procedures for your remote/lone worker.

Why it is important to document and record workplace accidents

Your next step after an accident occurs is to conduct appropriate reporting. Some Information to include:

  • Name and contacts of the injured employee
  • Time and date
  • Nature of the injury
  • First-Aid treatment given

Accurate and timely reporting will allow you to effectively investigate the incident later and meet compliance standards. For example, recording first-aid treatment allows you to easily review first-aid kit requirements.

You can discover detailed information by interviewing the injured employee and witness(es), as well as evaluating current company procedures. Questions should focus on the facts surrounding the occurrence:

  • What was the worker doing when the accident occurred?
  • Did they have appropriate training, qualifications, equipment, supervision, etc. to perform this operation?
  • Were safety policies and company procedures being followed?
  • Is the job or process new?
  • What were witnesses doing at the time of the accident?
  • Has there been an incident similar in the past?
  • Did your risk assessments/quality tests identify any hazardous activities?

How can we prevent accidents in the workplace?

After you have filed appropriate reporting documentation, you can then use this to investigate the incident. What actions could have prevented the accident or minimised its effect? Have measures been put in place in the past and failed to be implemented or followed through with?

Taking the time to thoroughly investigate the incident will allow you implement effective safety measures that decrease the potential of an incident reoccurring.

Tying up the loose ends

Lodge your claim with your insurance provider within 48hrs. This time frame is a legal requirement. See more information on how to do this.

Additionally, you should contact and support your injured worker in their recovery. This includes ensuring they have the relevant forms and information regarding medical treatment for work-related injuries. It’s also important to be transparent – let them know that precautions/review are being taken or have taken place.

Responding to workplace accidents can become an overwhelming experience. However, the process of undertaking a reactive safety change can create opportunity to implement a more proactive approach to safety. SafetyIQ Journey Management Solution can provide you with automated, real-time emergency response capabilities, and effective safety systems to prevent an emergency from happening. Find out more >>


We cover a range of topics in our articles - view all blogs.

Types of Risks with Remote and Isolated Work

SafetyIQ’s journey management software can help to control the risks and protect your people. 

Read More
Using Technology to Improve Safety in the Workplace

Journey management software program can allow employers to be instantly alerted when an employee has not checked-in.

Read More
What is Journey Management and Why Does it Matter?

From planning the journey, completing a risk assessment to gaining approval, the entire process is automated and seamless with SafetyIQ.

Read More

Get more actionable insights in your inbox!

Sign up for our HSE newsletter Before The Audit and get emails with complimentary templates, guides or actionable resources