Having an employee sustain an injury at work is often a given, especially in more hazardous fields such as public safety, construction, and healthcare. Workers’ compensation claims can lead to additional paperwork and expenses for a business. Because of this, it is important that companies have a plan for dealing with worker injuries quickly and efficiently. Here are four things that companies can do to assist injured employees.
1. Provide Access to Medical Care
It is not generally the job of employers to provide workers with direct access to medical care; however, managers of companies should know where the closest healthcare facilities are in proximity to their building in case someone gets injured or severely ill. Knowing the closest medical facility helps expedite emergency care in the event that someone at work needs to go to the hospital right away.
If a company has an especially large number of employees, they may consider setting up a small healthcare clinic onsite for their employees to visit. Generally, these types of clinics assist with minor injuries and ailments but will refer someone to a larger medical facility if that is where they need to go.
Some of the more common injuries and ailments across office jobs include:
- Repetitive strains of the wrist, hand, elbow, or another part of the body that performs repetitive tasks
- Trips and falls due to clutter inside the building or ice, debris, and other less-than-ideal conditions outside the building
- Acts of violence from disgruntled customers or coworkers
- Eye strain due to failing to take regular breaks from looking at a computer screen or other electronic device
While most of these more common office injuries will not necessitate a visit to the emergency room, workers should be aware of when their injuries get worse and obtain the proper care.
2. Assist With Obtaining Medication
Companies that have the capacity to do so may also consider helping their workers get the medications they need. For example, a pharmacy benefit management company can help employees with finding a pharmacy near them as well as enabling them to do things such as shipping medications to their homes and locating specialized pharmacies that work with patients who have rare conditions.
Such a management company can also provide additional resources to workers who have recently sustained an injury on the job. This is a welcome service for employees with a new injury, as they usually have other things to deal with in addition to obtaining medication.
3. Provide Paid Time Off
Sometimes, employees who work in sectors where they get paid for the amount of time they are on the job feel that they should work through illnesses and injuries. However, this can lead to the employee getting even more hurt and having to take more days off than they would have in the first place. Companies can help prevent this by providing employees with a fair and reasonable amount of time off, particularly when an employee has an injury as a result of performing their job duties.
4. Do Not Forget Mental Health
Physical ailments are often the most obvious type of ailment that employees face in the workplace, but employers should also keep in mind the mental health needs of their employees. Common mental health conditions that employees deal with include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder, which may occur after an employee goes through a particularly disturbing event, such as those seen in the law enforcement and medical fields
- Depression, which can result from numerous factors experienced both in and out of the workplace
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which is mainly diagnosed in children but which people may not see until adulthood when they must perform particular tasks
- Anxiety and stress, which can result from a lack of access to emotional support for dealing with the overwhelming facets of daily life
When a worker has a physical injury, any preexisting mental health condition can make it more difficult for that worker to heal, since that person must deal with multiple stressful events at once. More employers continue to recognize the importance of mental health and know that employees who are both physically and emotionally healthy tend to be the most productive in the workplace.
Employers and employees alike want to stay safe, happy, and healthy on the job. Unfortunately, issues happen where someone may need to go to the hospital during the workday or take time off from work due to an illness or injury. It is important for businesses to know what to do in these scenarios.