An industrial accident can be any accident that occurs when a person is working and suffers an injury. While most would think of accidents happening with construction workers or in factory settings, an industrial accident can happen to anyone working in any profession. These can occur because a worker takes a shortcut and ignores safety protocols or from poor working conditions including inadequate space, among other reasons. With the variety of accidents in the industrial sector, it is hard to give estimates as to why they specifically happen or how to prevent them. Instead, each sector has a set of guidelines for preventing workplace accidents. The question becomes more of a what to do after an accident and what to know. Although the exact nature of how to deal with the aftermath of an industrial accident may differ when dealing with a SeQuential biodiesel refining accident or an accident involving industrial recycling, the steps taken to ensure everyone’s safety should be the same.
- Call for Help
The main concern after an accident is the safety of those involved. If an accident occurs and someone has been injured, immediately call for emergency services by dialing 911. If a fatality occurred or the accident resulted from violent or aggressive behavior, the police should also be contacted. If it is possible to administer first aid without jeopardizing the safety of anyone else, then proceed until help arrives. Make sure to wash your hands and use an available first aid kit that includes bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic creams, and protective gear, among other items. Once first responders arrive, provide as much as information as possible regarding the nature of the injuries.
If the conditions are not safe, clear the area and ensure the safety of all other to minimize risk. Do not send anyone to help if the situation is dangerous, as this can lead to further injuries. Instead, instruct the party involved from a safe distance and as best as possible, given the current conditions. If it is possible to safely assist and the situation involves a biological spill, remove clothing contaminated by the accident and wash the area with soap and water. Make sure to place the items in a biohazard bag. If the spill involves a chemical, do not wipe them off. Instead, go to a safety shower and remove clothing while rinsing. Continue flooding the area with water. Once medical assistance arrives, be sure to communicate the nature of the spill or the accident so that emergency responders can act accordingly.
- Report the Accident
Report the accident through the appropriate channels. Both the individual involved in the accident and the employer will need this to ensure legal protection and for ethical reasons. Contact your immediate supervisor. Superiors should have a chain of command and should be prepared to deal with the situation. Help as much as possible and provide as much detail as necessary to ensure that the report and information contained in the report is accurate. Such information will include the nature of the accident, the individuals involved, the severity of the injuries, the type of injuries, the steps taken after the accident, and any other additional information that can be helpful.
Keep all documentation, including memos, letters, and receipts, as these may be necessary to file a claim. If the accident involved any tool or equipment, do not throw away any damaged items and take pictures and video when it is safe to do so. If the accident involves harmful chemicals and hazardous materials, the employer must contact the proper government agencies. Such actions may be necessary to obtain assistance with evacuations or with the cleanup of said materials. If the accident resulted in a spill while transporting harmful materials, the employer must notify the Department of Transportation and file a report.
- Seek Medical Attention
Even if the people involved feel fine, they should seek immediate medical attention and obtain a full checkup to ensure that they are medically cleared. A lot of injuries will not be immediately apparent or may not be detected by those without medical training. Therefore, professional assistance is necessary. It is possible to see symptoms days after the accident; if you did not seek professional assistance, such injuries will not be documented, and you may not be eligible to file a claim for them. If your workplace environment handles chemicals such as radon or involves asbestos and other materials linked to chronic conditions, make sure to review facts about lung cancer as you may have a higher risk than normal.
Keep in mind that any person representing the organization is working for the best interest of said company. Therefore, if someone instructs you to see a medical professional who will be paid by the organization, do not agree until you seek legal counsel. If you do see a company doctor, make sure to also visit a third-party doctor that remains objective. If your doctor provides a treatment requiring multiple visits and follow-ups, follow the doctor’s directions and keep records of all visits as well as receipts of any medications that the medical professional prescribed.
- Consult an Attorney
After reporting the accident and consulting a medical professional, seek legal advice by talking to an attorney specializing in industrial accidents. A personal injury lawyer is the best person to talk to for clarification on if there is a case to file a claim against your employer or not. Therefore, do not be afraid to seek the professional advice of a specialized attorney such as the accident and injury trial lawyers in Mississippi and Alabama. Never assume that there is not enough information to file a claim or that your employer’s insurance company and lawyers have your best interest in mind. Make sure to consult with an expert who will be looking out for your best interest.
Being involved in a workplace accident is stressful, and errors are easy to make. It is necessary for you to consider everything that happened and provide as much documentation as possible. Workers may be at fault if they tried to perform their tasks faster and took shortcuts, putting their safety at risk. Ignoring safety protocols and procedures may result in serious injury and may have legal consequences, as well. Therefore, consulting with a lawyer regarding the events is an important step to ensure your well-being.
The first line of defense against industrial accidents is to follow all protocols set forth by the organization in a strict and literal manner, using all appropriate safety equipment as directed by any guidelines. Employers need to ensure that employees are taking necessary precautions to conduct their work and have at their disposal all equipment. The United States Department of Labor under the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requires employees to follow certain standards, including the use of equipment that provides them with safe working conditions. If workers do not have access to adequate equipment, relay such information to a supervisor and document the communication. Even with safety protocols and equipment, human error can play a factor in an unforeseen circumstance that creates the scenario for an accident to occur. Employers should know how to deal with these situations and should be ready to assist employees while also maintaining a safe working environment.