Construction sites present a great number of health and safety risks. The Health and Safety Executive estimate that around 4% of construction workers suffer from a work-related illness every year and that 3% sustain a common work-related injury. The types of injuries sustained range in severity, but can include things like broken bones or fractures, cuts and lacerations from tools and materials, burns from fire or electrocutions, and head traumas.
Whilst you should be prepared for a workplace injury and aiming to reduce their frequency, it’s still important to know what to do if someone becomes injured on your construction site. Here are the steps we recommend taking:
Firstly, remain calm – it is important not to panic. If you keep a cool head after an incident, this can minimise the severity of the injury, as well as protect yourself from additional liability.
As soon as the injury happens, get workers to a safe place. Not only should you be moving the injured worker away from the area, if it is safe to do so, you should also make sure that other employees stay clear. You need to immediately reduce the risk of further injuries occurring.
Once the area is as clear as possible, quickly assess the situation. You need to determine how severe the injury is and how the accident was caused.
You are now in a position to assist the injured. For injuries like minor cuts, scrapes, and burns, you may only need first aid, which can usually be dealt with in-house – provided you have the correct materials and trained staff. However, if the injury is a major one, you need to stabilise the injured person. Be sure to do this even if the employee claims they do not think the injury is serious – people are often unaware of the severity of their injury. Don’t be afraid to call emergency medical services if you deem it necessary.
Once you have assisted the injured person and sought adequate medical attention, make sure to gather information and keep evidence of the incident. The events should be fresh in your mind, so write down the relevant details and ask for witness statements. Take photos of the scene and note down the equipment that was being used. Injuries should be documented even if the employee claims that they are fine. You don’t want to risk a compensation claim at a later date.
Follow through with paperwork
It is within an employer’s best interests to work with an injured employee to file a compensation claim with the company’s insurance provider. There should be clear and open communication throughout this process. You don’t want an injury to become a lawsuit if the appropriate processes are not followed.
A construction company should be covered by the appropriate insurance for tradesman and professionals. If you’re a business owner looking to cover your company in times of workplace injury, try Tradesman Saver for your insurance needs.