Health & Safety: What do I do After a Staff Member's Been Hurt at Work?As the owner of your business busy with maintaining quality patient care, the last thing you want to have to deal with is a workplace incident.
When workplace incidents happen, they can lead to injury, illness or damage. The associated costs can be substantial for the injured worker, their families, co-workers and the business. For the employer, the outcome may include increased WorkSafe BC claims, premiums and administrative penalties. For incidents that result in an injury or had the potential for causing a serious injury, it’s the employer’s responsibility to conduct an investigation. Investigations help determine what happened, the cause and hazards and how to prevent similar incidents from occurring again.
Do you Know the Four Stages of Conducting an Investigation?
Employers’ responsibilities include conducting investigations and reporting incidents to WorkSafe BC. Depending on the type of incident and it’s severity, the employer may also need to immediately report it to WorkSafe BC. Check out WorkSafe BC’s site for their Employer Incident Investigation Report (EIIR) and its associated Guide for Completing the EIIR to help you through the process. The EIIR captures relevant incident information and is divided into four stages of an investigation:
- interim corrective actions
- full investigation
- full corrective action
What are the Benefits of an Investigation?
Investigating incidents is a consultative process between employer and worker representatives. Participating in investigations lands within joint health and safety committee duties. Those who perform an investigation should be knowledgeable with workplace processes, policies and practices and OH&S legislation among other key sources of information. The process involves breaking down what happened and the “why’s” of an incident. Relevant information is gathered and analyzed and the root cause and contributing factors are determined. From this, the employer can implement a corrective action plan with accident prevention. Other benefits from conducting an investigation are:
- Prevents recurrences
- Identifies gaps in safety procedures
- Identifies safety trends
- Improves safety awareness
Let’s Talk About Safety at Work!
When the employer investigates incidents, it showcases their commitment to the process, meeting legal requirements and supports due diligence. For nurse practitioners, whether you’re an employee or employer, take part in brief, regular and frequent proactive safety talks. Check out SafeCare BC’s Safety Huddles page for ways to engage staff on conversations about workplace health and safety. This increases hazard recognition and reporting, employee understanding of work procedures and safety culture.
Want to learn more on Incident Investigations? Contact Margo Wipf with The Safe Way – Workplace Safety for accident investigation training.
Disclaimer: This information is provided in an attempt to heighten sensitivity, increase awareness, and enhance judgments on this topic. We encourage our audience to contact their legal advisor and regulatory body to learn more.
Conducting an Employer Investigation. WorkSafeBC. (2021, February 22). Retrieved February 13, 2022, from https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/create-manage/incident-investigations/conducting-employer-investigation
Reporting incidents to WorkSafe BC. WorkSafeBC. (2021, April 22). Retrieved February 13, 2022, from https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/create-manage/incident-investigations/reporting-incidents-worksafebc
Employer Incident Investigation Form. WORKSAFEBC. (2021, April 22). Retrieved February 13, 2022, from https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/forms/incident-investigation-report-form-52e40?lang=en
Guide for Completing the EIIR. WORKSAFEBC. (2021, April 22). Retrieved February 13, 2022, from https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/forms/incident-investigation-report-form-guide-52e40?lang=en
Safety Huddles. Safecare BC. (2019, December 11). Retrieved February 13, 2022, from https://www.safecarebc.ca/safetyhuddles/
About the Author
Programs Director, The Safe Way – Workplace Safety and Human Resource Corporation
Margo is a solutions and values-based safety consultant and Director of Programs with The Safe Way – Workplace Safety and Human Resources Corporation. Her safety company’s vision is to ensure safe work behaviours and environments for all workers, including the continuing care sector.
She excels at helping business owners establish a system to identify risk management issues, employment standards; Worksafe requirements, and much more.
Her method of approach is what sets her apart; she coaches, motivates, and builds relationships that promote safety culture and mitigate risk. She collaborates with solo practitioners creating safety policies and procedures that fit company needs and meet regulatory compliance. For the solo practitioner, these deliverables save money, provide peace of mind, and more time to focus on business and client needs.
To learn more about Margo and how she can help your business, please visit her website at www.thesafeway.ca
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