Disclaimer: The information presented below is only meant to give you a basic background of what you should do if ever an employee of yours got injured at your business. This shouldn’t be mistaken for legal advice. To know more about what the law requires you as an employer to do in case any of your employees encounter a work-related injury, you should consult the services of a professional attorney who can provide you with better information on how to deal with such an incident.
Maintaining a business often finds you juggling a lot of responsibilities just to keep it afloat. Good thing you have a bunch of hardworking employees lightening your load so that you can focus on more important things needed for you to smoothly run your business. However, if an employee of yours suddenly gets injured while working, it could stall the day-to-day operation of your business which can then translate to a loss of profits for your business. Thus, you should be able to know what you as an employer have to consider legally if you ever have an employee who got injured at your business.
What Are Some of the Most Common Ways for Your Employees to Get Injured While on the Job?
Different businesses have different sets of risks based on their very nature as well as the capacity in which their employees work for them. However, most businesses share more than one set of occupational hazards that their employees often encounter. Some of those most prevalent work-related injuries are as follows.
- Overexertion injuries
- Slip, trip and fall injuries
- Vehicular accidents
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Machine entanglement
- Deep cuts caused by sharp objects
- Inhalation of toxic fumes
- Exposure to loud industrial noise
- Workplace scuffles
What Should You Do as an Employer If an Employee Had an Injury at Your Business?
As an employer, your other main responsibility aside from hiring employees to help you out with all the work needed to be done is to make sure that the place where they’re doing their work complies with your state’s occupational safety and health laws. To further know your responsibilities as an employer whenever you have to deal with work-related injuries, here are some things that the law allows for you to consider if you have an employee that got themselves injured while running on company time:
1. Know the workers’ compensation laws of the state where you have your business.
Most states ask employers setting up businesses there to provide their employees with workers’ compensation insurance to shoulder the costs associated with recovering from any injuries that might occur in their place of work.
- Texas, on the other hand, doesn’t require employers to provide their employees with workers’ compensation benefits.
- Some states also don’t entail employers to have any workers’ compensation coverage if they only have less than a handful of employees working for them.
- Certain types of employees are also not covered by a state’s workers’ compensation laws, so to be sure, you should check if the nature of your business can make your state demand that your employees should have workers’ compensation benefits.
Your injured employee’s health and well-being matters a lot more than any financial losses that your business might incur as a result of their work-related injury.
- If you find yourself doubting whether an employee of yours was truly injured while doing their work or not, workers’ compensation laws at their most basic level stresses that no one’s at fault for any work-related injuries sustained by an employee.
- If your business has an in-house doctor, you should allow your employee to have their injuries checked by them as soon as possible.
- You can also have your injured employee’s medical leave approved so that they can go visit their preferred doctor instead.
3. Fill out a First Report of Injury form.
For every injury that your employee sustained while working at your place of business, or sometimes even outside of it if you’re requiring them to travel (as long as it’s within their normal working hours), you should fill out a state-based First Report of Injury form on behalf of an injured employee.
- You should accomplish at least three copies of the First Report of Injury form: one for your injured employee’s personal records, one to be mailed to the nearest workers’ compensation board office, and another one to be mailed to your insurance provider.
- You have to make sure not to forget filling out a First Report of Injury form to avoid being charged with misdemeanor and paying any corresponding fines.
4. Allow your injured employee to recuperate and return to work once they’re physically ready to do so.
Just because an employee of yours got injured while they’re working – regardless if it was their fault or yours – doesn’t mean that you can just summarily terminate them if you feel that they’re holding your business back.
- Your injured employee’s workers’ compensation system entitles them to medical assistance at the very least with disability and rehabilitation payments handed out to them as well depending on the severity of the work-related injuries that they sustained.
- You shouldn’t terminate an injured employee if there aren’t any grounds to do so to avoid facing either a civil or criminal lawsuit.
Hiring employees to help you do the things needed for your business to run smoothly and efficiently is essential as you wouldn’t want to place all the burden that comes with having your own business on yourself. It follows then that you should also provide your employees with a safe place to work. However, in the event that an employee of yours suddenly got injured while working (even if you certainly wish for it not to happen), you should make sure that you’re following the laws of the state where you had set up your business by giving them workers’ compensation benefits that they can use for such an untoward incident. You should just make sure that your injured employee gets adequately compensated for all the injuries that they sustained while at work so that they won’t proceed with the case with the help of a lawyer.
Don is a law enthusiast who’s had over 25 years of experience in his field. He currently writes for Abels & Annes, P.C. – Chicago and enjoys sharing his experiences with those who want to learn more about the legal world. In his spare time, he spends quality time with his family and friends.