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Accidents at Work
It is inevitable that accidents happen in work. They are talked about constantly in health and safety. If they were preventable it can open an employer up to legal consequences. The way an employer handles an accident and treating injuries after they happen also has ramifications for what their potential liability could be. Leaving aside the legal situation ensuring that there is always someone trained in health and safety is sound business practice both operationally and ethically. Health and safety training is high in every manager’s mind and almost every business will have a budget allocated to it. First aid training does not cost much more and is a sensible expenditure for any business.
Accidents are sometimes entirely unfortunate happenstance and nothing could be done to prevent them. Sometimes they are not even caused by the work but by a person’s simple misfortune or pre-existing but unknown illness. The business may not be liable but if the accident is not responded to in an appropriate manner it could leave the business open to legal action. If someone working with sharp objects or machinery sustains a cut, something which is almost inevitable then it is important for a business to respond correctly. Some cuts will need no more than to be disinfected and bandaged, however some may need stitches. This may not be immediately obvious to everyone. If a problem from the cut develops down the line then it may have serious legal consequences such as personal injury claims specialists-personal injury at work. This is why it is important to ensure that there is someone available who can make a reasonable estimate of what the appropriate course of action is.
From a purely operational standpoint first aid is important to ensure that stoppages in work and missed days are minimised. If someone injures themselves and keeps on working there is sometimes a possibility that the injury worsens when it could have been cured with a day or two of rest. This would mean that even more days are missed and may mean that the business is down a very important worker. Having someone with first aid training in work can help avoid this, or they will at least be able to tell if someone more qualified such as a GP or A&E doctor can make the correct decision.
For any worker it is important to report any accident or injury. We deal with this in another blog showing how without that information a business is not able to make appropriate and considered decisions about work place safety. If you are injured in an accident at work, it is important to inform an employer. They cannot take any action unless they are aware of the situation. They also cannot get anyone to evaluate your injury and to see if there are repercussions that could make for serious long term health problems.
The final area to be aware of is with other workers. There are many types of injury where the injured person might not notice themselves. Adrenaline from an accident might mask the pain. A head injury could affect thinking and the person might not realise there is something wrong. A slow build up in pain could mean someone is not aware they are doing something incorrectly because of an unnoticed injury, and could result in a more serious accident. This is why it is always important to look out for and report if anyone seems unwell or a little off.
The thing to remember in all scenarios is that the employer and managers are there to make the best decisions for the business. Ensuring the health and safety of you and your fellow workers is one of the most important things for any business. If an employer does not have knowledge of something that happened, they cannot effectively ensure the workplace is safe. For any business ensuring someone who has first aid training is available is a sound and practical concern.