No one wants workplace accidents to happen, of course, but if your workplace is considered “high hazard” then accidents are probably going to occur from time to time. Besides preventing accidents from happening in the first place, the next best thing you can do is have a plan of action in place for when they do occur. Accidents can happen at any time and one way to minimize their severity is by being prepared.

Here are some tips:
1. Communicate

Communicating quickly and clearly when a workplace accident occurs is a must. Have a list of emergency numbers available throughout the workplace that lists the employees and other on-site personnel who should be contacted. You can also extend and expand your emergency communication plan by implementing wireless communication devices such as walkie-talkies.

2. Have a reaction plan

It’s crucial to have a reaction plan in place for when an employee is injured. Know where the nearest hospitals are located and what emergency numbers to call. Have first aid kits readily available and train your workers on how to properly use them. Provide first aid to the injured employee, or employees, whenever possible; doing so can stabilize those with major injuries.

3. Stay calm

Chaos after an accident can escalate the situation from bad to worse. While every worker should remain calm and be responsible in order to help regain control of the situation, the heaviest burden will fall on the shoulders of managers and others in leadership positions. Leaders should always collaborate with each other when developing an accident-reaction plan.

4. Stick to the evacuation plan

It’s natural for people to want to leave the scene and get to safety as quickly as possible after an accident. That said, all exits should be clearly marked and evacuation plans should be posted throughout the workplace to prevent chaos during an evacuation. Regular evacuation drills should be conducted so that workers can act efficiently – and without panic – in an emergency situation. Getting to a safe place after an accident will prevent additional accidents or injuries from happening.

5. Record information

Record the details of the accident as soon as possible. The details will still be fresh in your mind; time can change your memory of – and how you view – the situation. Quickly gather information from others who were involved with or witnessed the incident.

6. Train

The importance of training employees on what to do in case of an accident cannot be overstated. Effectively dealing with an accident requires the cooperation and collaboration of all personnel. Training your workers through practice scenarios and drills will help prepare them for when an accident actually does occur.

7. Have workers compensation insurance

While workers compensation insurance won’t minimize the chances of having a workplace accident, it’s certainly important for the aftermath. Workers compensation insurance helps cover the cost of employee injuries and medical expenses.

Having a plan in place and being prepared are of utmost importance when minimizing the seriousness of a workplace accident. While no one can predict when an accident will occur, knowing what to do when one happens is imperative.