Employers Resource

What to Do When an Employee Is Injured at Work? 7 Key Steps


  • Knowing how to handle a work-related injury or accident is crucial to keep your employees (and your business) on the safe side.
  • All work-related injuries must be reported to your Workers’ Compensation provider and, depending on the severity of the incident, you may also need to notify OSHA.
  • At Employer’s Resource, we provide Workers’ Comp & Safety services for startups, helping them improve workplace safety and prevent claims. Learn how we can help your business.

When you have a strong safety program in the workplace, accidents are rare. But even the most prepared environment can have unexpected situations. Knowing exactly what to do when an employee is injured at work is crucial and can reduce the risks for both your employees and your business.

This guide provides clear, actionable steps and advice to navigate a work-related injury, prioritizing your employee’s well-being while also ensuring that your business remains compliant with legal and safety requirements.

Let’s dive in!

Report All Work-Related Injuries, even if They Only Require First Aid Care

How to Successfully Handle a Work Injury

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers reported 2.8 million injury and illness cases in 2022. The most common cause? Overexertion and bodily reaction, more specifically: sprain, strains, and tears.

In the case of a work injury, do you know how to handle it? Let’s uncover the main steps that employers should follow:

#1 Get Medical Treatment Immediately

If your injured employee is in an emergency, send them to a clinic or urgent care facility right away.

The priority is your employee’s health and safety. If the injury is severe or life-threatening, call emergency services immediately. For less severe injuries, provide first aid or arrange for the employee to see a healthcare professional promptly.

#2 Always Report the Injury to Your Workers’ Compensation Carrier

One of the most important things to do is to report the injury to your Workers’ Compensation provider. Keep in mind that all injuries must be reported.

Reporting also involves notifying a supervisor, HR department, or designated safety officer.

Are you an Employers Resource client? If that’s the case, you can directly report to the friendly people in our Workers’ Compensation department – (800) 775-2404; they will guide you through every step of the way. 

What to do when employees refuse to get medical treatment?

Sometimes an employee only needs first aid and doesn’t want to go to a clinic. There is no problem with that scenario, but the injury should still be reported to your Workers’ Comp carrier.

However, in this case, it’s recommended to have the employee review and sign a Declination of Medical Treatment form. This statement protects you as an employer by showing that medical treatment was offered to the employee, but it does not mean the employee cannot seek medical treatment later. The employee still has that option if his or her condition worsens.

Download our Work Comp and Safety Spotlight to learn more.

#3 Accidents and Injuries Must Be Reported within 24 Hours

All injuries, no matter how minor, must be reported within 24 hours of the injury. Even in the case of a “first aid only” injury.

You must report all injuries to your Workers’ Compensation carrier in case the injury becomes worse and needs medical attention in the future. That way, the reporting of the injury will not be considered late by the state. Keep in mind that state penalties can be imposed if accidents are reported later than 24 hours after the injury has occurred.

Your employees must be familiar with the company’s incident reporting procedure, so they can report all work-related injuries right away.

Reporting fatalities or severe injuries to OSHA

Most private sector companies are subject to OSHA safety requirements and standards. In the event of a work-related fatality or severe injury, you are required to notify OSHA. Fatalities must be reported within 8 hours, whereas hospitalization, amputation, and eye loss must be reported within 24 hours.

#4 Give Information to the Clinic to Treat an Injured Worker

The first time a particular injury is treated, you want to let the clinic know who this worker is, which company he or she works for, and who the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier is for your company.

If you are an Employers Resource client, your employees should take our Workers’ Compensation Treatment form to the clinic upon the initial visit. This form gives the clinic all the information it needs.

#5 Provide Information About the Accident/Injury

For our clients, our Workers’ Compensation department will ask you to complete a Notice of Injury form. This form helps you communicate information that the Workers’ Comp carrier will need such as the date & time of the injury, employee name, location at which the injury occurred, what the employee was doing at the time of injury, which body part(s) were injured, which clinic the employee was sent to, etc.

#6 Support the Employee 

Offer support and assistance to the injured employee throughout the entire process of recovery. This could include helping them access medical care, providing transportation if needed, and offering reassurance about their job security.

#7 Investigate the Incident and Review Your Safety Protocols

Conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the injury to determine its cause and identify any factors that contributed to it. You might want to talk to other employees who were present during the incident and take photos of the scene if possible.

Use this information to review and, if necessary, update your company’s safety protocols and procedures. This may involve:

  • Implementing additional safety measures
  • Providing further training to employees
  • Making changes to the work environment
Review Your Safety Protocols After an Incident and Update Them if Necessary

Keep Your Business Safe with Employers Resource

Even though most do their best to prevent workplace injuries, it is always a good idea to know what to do if an accident happens. We recommend bookmarking this post so you will always know the steps to take when a workplace injury occurs.

At Employers Resource, we provide PEO services for small and mid-sized businesses across the U.S. This goes from handling payroll, compliance, and HR-related tasks for you, to covering Work and Compensation. As part of our service package, your company can have employee training, risk management, and cost-control measures, which are often too expensive for smaller organizations.

Keep your business (and your employees) safe with our Safety and Work Comp’ services. Contact us to get started!

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