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What is the Employer’s Responsibility when a Worker is Injured?

Read­ing Time: 5 min­utes

Last Updat­ed on June 25, 2023 

An employ­er has a legal oblig­a­tion to pro­vide a safe work­place for their work­ers. This means that employ­ers must take steps to iden­ti­fy and elim­i­nate haz­ards in the work­place. If an employ­ee is injured at work, the employ­er may be held liable for the injury. If you or your loved one has been injured at work and you need help, call 844–682‑0999.

  • Pro­vide Imme­di­ate Assistance
  • Doc­u­ment and Report the Incident
  • Sup­port the Work­ers’ Com­pen­sa­tion Process
  • Main­tain Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Support
  • Accom­mo­date Work Restric­tions and Return-to-Work

The employer’s Responsibilities When a Worker is Injured

  1. Pro­vid­ing first aid. If an employ­ee is injured at work, the employ­er must pro­vide first aid as soon as pos­si­ble. This may include call­ing 911 or tak­ing the employ­ee to the near­est hospital.
  2. Doc­u­ment and Report the Inci­dent: Employ­ers are gen­er­al­ly required to doc­u­ment the details of the inci­dent, includ­ing the date, time, loca­tion, and cir­cum­stances of the injury. This infor­ma­tion is essen­tial for accu­rate­ly report­ing the inci­dent to the work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion insur­ance car­ri­er and rel­e­vant authorities.
  3. Report­ing the injury to the work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion insur­ance com­pa­ny. The employ­er must report the injury to the work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion insur­ance com­pa­ny as soon as pos­si­ble. This is usu­al­ly done by fill­ing out a work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion claim form.
  4. Pro­vide Claim Forms and Assis­tance: Once noti­fied of the injury, employ­ers should pro­vide the injured work­er with the nec­es­sary claim forms and instruc­tions for fil­ing a work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion claim. Employ­ers should assist the work­er in com­plet­ing the forms and offer guid­ance through­out the claims process.
  5. Coop­er­ate with the Claims Process: Employ­ers have an oblig­a­tion to coop­er­ate with the work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion claims process. This includes pro­vid­ing request­ed doc­u­men­ta­tion, respond­ing to inquiries from the insur­ance car­ri­er or work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion board, and par­tic­i­pat­ing in any nec­es­sary inves­ti­ga­tions or hearings.
  6. Pro­vid­ing med­ical care. The employ­er must pro­vide the injured employ­ee with med­ical care as need­ed. This may include pay­ing for doc­tor’s vis­its, hos­pi­tal stays, and pre­scrip­tion medications.
  7. Pay­ing for lost wages. If the employ­ee is unable to work due to the injury, the employ­er must pay for their lost wages. This is typ­i­cal­ly done through work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion benefits.
  8. Accom­mo­date Work Restric­tions and Return-to-Work Plans: If the injured work­er is cleared for mod­i­fied or light-duty work by their health­care provider, employ­ers should make rea­son­able efforts to pro­vide suit­able accom­mo­da­tions. This may involve adjust­ing work tasks, pro­vid­ing nec­es­sary equip­ment, or offer­ing a tem­po­rary alter­na­tive assign­ment until the work­er ful­ly recovers.
  9. Reha­bil­i­tat­ing the employ­ee. The employ­er must help the injured employ­ee reha­bil­i­tate so that they can return to work as soon as pos­si­ble. This may include pro­vid­ing phys­i­cal ther­a­py or job retraining.
  10. Main­tain a Safe Work Envi­ron­ment: Employ­ers have a gen­er­al duty to main­tain a safe work­ing envi­ron­ment and take proac­tive mea­sures to pre­vent work­place injuries. This includes imple­ment­ing safe­ty poli­cies, pro­vid­ing nec­es­sary train­ing and per­son­al pro­tec­tive equip­ment, con­duct­ing reg­u­lar inspec­tions, and address­ing poten­tial haz­ards promptly.

Mitigating Injury to Injured Worker: Duty of the Employer

  • Employ­ers should ensure that injured work­ers receive prompt med­ical atten­tion fol­low­ing an injury, and pro­vide access to med­ical care and treat­ment as need­ed. This can help injured work­ers recov­er more quick­ly and pre­vent their injuries from worsening.
  • Employ­ers should con­sid­er offer­ing mod­i­fied work assign­ments or light-duty work to injured work­ers who are unable to per­form their reg­u­lar job duties due to their injuries. This can help injured work­ers stay engaged in the work­place and main­tain their income while they recover.
  • Employ­ers should main­tain open com­mu­ni­ca­tion with injured work­ers through­out the recov­ery process, and pro­vide ongo­ing sup­port as need­ed. This can include check­ing in with the work­er reg­u­lar­ly, pro­vid­ing access to coun­sel­ing or oth­er resources to sup­port their men­tal health, and assist­ing with the work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion claim process.

Top Four things an Employer can do to Protect Workers from getting Injured

  1. Have a plan for deal­ing with work­place injuries. This plan should include pro­ce­dures for pro­vid­ing first aid, report­ing injuries, and pro­vid­ing med­ical care.
  2. Be respon­sive to employ­ee con­cerns. If an employ­ee reports a haz­ard or an injury, the employ­er should take the com­plaint seri­ous­ly and inves­ti­gate promptly.
  3. Doc­u­ment every­thing. This includes keep­ing records of work­place injuries, first aid treat­ments, and med­ical care provided.
  4. Pro­vide Ade­quate Train­ing: Employ­ers should pro­vide com­pre­hen­sive train­ing to employ­ees on prop­er safe­ty pro­ce­dures and pro­to­cols, includ­ing how to use equip­ment and machin­ery safe­ly, how to han­dle haz­ardous mate­ri­als, and how to respond to emer­gen­cies. Pro­vid­ing ongo­ing safe­ty train­ing and pro­mot­ing a cul­ture of safe­ty can help reduce the like­li­hood of future acci­dents and injuries.
  5. Main­tain a Safe Work­place: Employ­ers should reg­u­lar­ly inspect the work­place for poten­tial haz­ards, such as loose wires or floor­ing, and take steps to mit­i­gate these haz­ards to pre­vent work­place accidents.
  6. Pro­vide Appro­pri­ate Safe­ty Equip­ment: Employ­ers should pro­vide work­ers with the appro­pri­ate safe­ty equip­ment for their job, includ­ing pro­tec­tive gear such as hard hats, gloves, and safe­ty glass­es, as well as safe­ty fea­tures on machin­ery and equipment.
  7. Encour­age Com­mu­ni­ca­tion: Employ­ers should encour­age open com­mu­ni­ca­tion between work­ers and man­age­ment regard­ing work­place safe­ty con­cerns, and ensure that work­ers feel com­fort­able report­ing any safe­ty haz­ards or con­cerns they may have.
  8. Com­pli­ance with Legal Require­ments: Employ­ers should com­ply with all applic­a­ble laws, reg­u­la­tions, and stan­dards relat­ed to work­place safe­ty, work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion, and accom­mo­da­tion of injured work­ers. This includes ful­fill­ing report­ing require­ments, pro­vid­ing nec­es­sary doc­u­men­ta­tion, and coop­er­at­ing with the work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion claims process.

By tak­ing these steps, employ­ers can demon­strate their com­mit­ment to sup­port­ing injured work­ers and help them nav­i­gate the recov­ery process more smooth­ly.

What should an employer do immediately after a worker is injured?

An employ­er should pro­vide imme­di­ate assis­tance by ensur­ing the injured work­er receives nec­es­sary med­ical atten­tion. This may involve call­ing emer­gency ser­vices, pro­vid­ing first aid, or arrang­ing for trans­porta­tion to a med­ical facility.

What documentation is the employer required to maintain after an injury occurs?

Employ­ers are typ­i­cal­ly required to doc­u­ment the details of the inci­dent, includ­ing the date, time, loca­tion, and cir­cum­stances of the injury. This doc­u­men­ta­tion is essen­tial for report­ing the inci­dent to the work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion insur­ance car­ri­er and rel­e­vant reg­u­la­to­ry agencies.

Are employers required to report workplace injuries to the workers’ compensation insurance carrier or relevant authorities?

Yes, employ­ers are gen­er­al­ly oblig­at­ed to report work­place injuries to the work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion insur­ance car­ri­er or rel­e­vant author­i­ties as per legal require­ments. Report­ing the injury prompt­ly allows the injured work­er to access the ben­e­fits and med­ical treat­ment they are enti­tled to.

What responsibilities do employers have during the workers’ compensation claims process?

Employ­ers should sup­port the work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion process by pro­vid­ing the injured work­er with nec­es­sary claim forms, guid­ance, and assis­tance in com­plet­ing the required doc­u­men­ta­tion. Employ­ers should also coop­er­ate with the insur­ance car­ri­er, pro­vide request­ed infor­ma­tion, and attend any required hear­ings or meetings.

How can employers support injured workers during their recovery?

Employ­ers can main­tain reg­u­lar com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the injured work­er to mon­i­tor their progress, pro­vide emo­tion­al sup­port, and address any con­cerns they may have. Employ­ers should also com­ply with med­ical rec­om­men­da­tions, such as work restric­tions or accom­mo­da­tions, to facil­i­tate the work­er’s safe return to work.

Are employers responsible for implementing safety measures to prevent future injuries?

Yes, employ­ers have a gen­er­al respon­si­bil­i­ty to main­tain a safe work­ing envi­ron­ment and imple­ment pre­ven­tive mea­sures to reduce the risk of injuries. This includes con­duct­ing reg­u­lar safe­ty train­ing, enforc­ing safe­ty poli­cies, address­ing haz­ards prompt­ly, and ensur­ing com­pli­ance with rel­e­vant safe­ty regulations.

It’s impor­tant to note that the spe­cif­ic respon­si­bil­i­ties of employ­ers may vary depend­ing on the juris­dic­tion, indus­try, and the size of the com­pa­ny. Employ­ers should famil­iar­ize them­selves with the rel­e­vant laws and reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion in their spe­cif­ic loca­tion to ensure com­pli­ance with their obligations.

By tak­ing these steps, employ­ers can help to ensure a safe work envi­ron­ment for their employ­ees and reduce the risk of work­place injuries. Our work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion lawyers are com­mit­ted to advo­cat­ing for the rights of injured work­ers and encour­ag­ing employ­ers to pri­or­i­tize work­place safety.

Our Work­ers’ Comp Lawyers, are com­mit­ted to advo­cat­ing for the rights of injured work­ers and work­ing with employ­ers to ensure they ful­fill their respon­si­bil­i­ties under the law.