What to do if you witness a workplace injury

Workplace illnesses and occupational injuries are not exactly rare in the United States. In fact, according to a recent press release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnessesin 2018 alone. Even if you manage to avoid a serious injury at work, you may witness one.

How you handle seeing a workplace injury may make a significant difference. After all, you may be able to render aid and stop future injuries. Still, you may not know how to respond to a workplace accident. Here are some steps to take if you see an on-the-job injury:

Help the injured person

If you are close to a colleague when the injury occurs, you may be in a good position to render first aid. How you should provide medical assistance, though, depends on your capabilities and the severity of the injury. Regardless, you should be certain that someone calls 911 for serious or life-threatening emergencies.

Limit ongoing hazards

Injuries can occur for a seemingly endless number of reasons. If there is an ongoing danger, though, you should try to stop it. For example, if a worker injured his or her arm in a machine, turning the machine off may be appropriate.

Preserve the scene

Your employer should investigate the accident both to determine how it unfolded and to stop similar incidents in the future. Therefore, you should try to preserve the scene. Said differently, you should not clean up the area or move objects needlessly.

Record your recollection

Your memories may fade quickly. For that reason, you should create a written record of what you observed. You should also remember thatyou may have emotional or psychological injuriesfrom witnessing the incident. Accordingly, do not forget to take care of your own needs.

When responding to an on-the-job accident, always be certain to report the incident to your supervisor. The other steps you take after observing a workplace injury may be incredibly important for a variety of reasons.

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