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Employers need to have a plan in event of workplace accidents

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration exists in order to ensure that workers are provided with a safe work environment. However, when serious workplace accidents occur, it is strongly recommended that employers have a plan in place to handle these often tragic events. While it would be ideal if every accident could be prevented, there are many Maryland residents who have suffered either an injury or illness caused by one's job.

OSHA has issued a guideline for employers to follow when a serious or fatal accident occurs on the job. The first is make sure that the injured employee is protected from further harm and that all other workers are safe. It is imperative to ensure that the proper emergency responders are alerted immediately and that all other employees are evacuated through the planned procedures.

Other steps to take would be to ensure that there is a plan for conducting a thorough investigation while cooperating with other officials. Any witnesses should be interviewed as soon after the incident as possible, and the emotional needs of workers who are directly affected should be provided for through counseling if needed. Lastly, it is suggested that employers are direct when releasing statements regarding the tragedy while ensuring that the final investigation is not compromised.

Having a plan in place may at least ensure that co-workers are protected from harm once a serious incident occurs. Unfortunately, workplace accidents do occur and Maryland residents may find themselves trying to cope with a serious injury and mounting expenses. These injured workers are entitled to file a claim for monetary benefits through the workers' compensation program. A successfully filed claim can provide the financial support that is vital when an injured employee is unable to return to duty for a period of time. Workers are assured of their right to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable professional in order to have these claims processed in a timely manner.

Source:, "How to handle catastrophic accidents in the workplace", Ed Foulke, Sept. 6, 2017

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