When an employee is injured in the workplace, or during the course of completing a work-related task, the employee is eligible to seek benefits through the company’s workers’ compensation policy. While workers’ compensation can protect businesses from lawsuits and other claims arising as a result of workplace injuries, many workers’ comp cases can be entirely prevented if managers made wiser decisions when dealing with injured employees.
Actions Managers Should Take Once an Employee is Injured on the Job
Business owners, executives and managers have certain responsibilities when it comes to running a company. While many of these responsibilities relate to business operations and profitability, others pertain to the safety of the individual employees. If you are the manager of a company at which an employee has been injured in a work-related accident, it is important that you do the following:
- Take every accident seriously, even if it does not appear to be major or appear to have caused substantial injury or harm.
- Refrain from making accusations or attempting to place blame on the injured worker or any other party.
- Report the accident to your superior verbally and file a written report, so he or she is aware of the injury, and can take further executive action as necessary.
- Advise the injured employee to get medical attention at once.
- Follow up with the injured employee to find out doctor recommendations and encourage adherence to the recommended treatment plan.
- Figure out coverage for the time the injured employee will be away from work.
- Coordinate a return-to-work strategy with the employee,so he or she can get back on the job as soon as possible.
- Figure out how to accommodate any restrictions the employee may have as a result of his or her injury.
- Educate yourself on the rights and responsibilities afforded through the Louisiana Workforce Commission and workers’ comp.
- Make safety in the workplace a priority, and train employees on safe work practices, no matter what industry.
Actions Managers Need to Avoid When Dealing with an Injured Employee
Managers can significantly reduce the risk of legal action following a workplace accident, as long as they know what is and what is not considered appropriate behavior when dealing with an injured employee. If you have an employee who claims to have suffered injury in the workplace, make sure you don’t:
- Argue or dispute the employee’s claims.
- Refuse to file a claim.
- Harass or make fun of an injured employee, or belittle his or her injury. Telling an employee to “man up” or “quit being a baby” is an inappropriate and unacceptable response following an injury. Whether an employee sustains a minor or serious injury, managers need to show compassion and exhibit concern, particularly when it relates to the well-being of their employees.
- Discourage the employee from seeking medical attention.
- Suggest or encourage the employee to not file a claim.
- Wait for the medical report before filing a report with workers’ comp.
- Include any false or misleading statements in your report.
- Ignore or refuse to accommodate medical restrictions any employee may have following his or her injury.
- Put profits over safety; safety comes first.
- Threaten an injured employee with a firing or a demotion he or she files a claim or fails to return to work in an estimated time schedule. Unless an employee’s injuries makes it impossible for him or her to return to a previously held job, it is illegal to terminate employment and could lead to expensive legal action being taken against the company.
Action Injured Employees Should Take
Employees have specific rights under Louisiana’s workers’ compensation laws. If you are an employee in the state of Louisiana who has been injured while on the job, or during the course of completing a work-related task, and you believe your rights have been violated by a poor decision made by your boss, contact a workers’ comp attorney at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault right away. Our attorneys are well-versed in workers’ compensation laws and will be more than happy to sit down with you to discuss your rights and legal options. Our goal is to help you pursue the workers’ comp benefits that will help cover your accident-related expenses and get you back on the road to recovery.
Contact us online or call us directly at 800.256.1050.