What happens when someone slips and falls as an employee, doesn't report it, and then they come to you as the leader a week later to tell you their back hurts from falling?  How can you prevent...

What happens when someone slips and falls as an employee, doesn't report it, and then they come to you as the leader a week later to tell you their back hurts from falling?  How can you prevent these types of reporting incidents from being kept to themselves?  Would reminders at staff meetings about how to fill out an incident report help this to improve?

 Staff meetings are a great way to communicate information, and document that the training existed.  I look for constant reminders to my staff so they can't say "I never heard that before" and post the minutes to the meetings everywhere so they can refer to it often

Expert Answers
kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is no way to completely eliminate problems the origin of which lay with failures of human beings to respond appropriately to adverse developments.  There is a reason insurance companies strongly recommend car accident victims seek immediate medical care even if they feel fine: Symptoms might not be felt for days or weeks after the accident, but it is very important to document the event at the time, or as close to the time as possible, that it occurred.  Such is the case with workplace accidents.  It is incumbent upon employees to report up their chain of command as soon as possible any accident involving product or worker, especially the latter.  This is for the employees’ own benefit.  Retroactive reports of workplace accidents become more difficult to verify and medical conditions that may result could be made worse by the victim’s failure to address them sooner.

The second paragraph of the student question clearly indicates awareness of the necessity of communicating to employees the proper procedures for responding to workplace accidents.  Staff meetings, posted reminders of requirements regarding workplace safety, and documenting that each employee has read and understands those requirements are all appropriate, especially the requirement that each employee sign a document attesting to his or her understanding of the requirements.  This, as noted, is for the employee’s benefit.  It also, however, serves the interests of the employer.  Federal regulations, in fact, require that employers provide safe working conditions.  The Code of Federal Regulations pertaining to workplace safety and the mission of the governmental Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) specifies the following:


Training. Standards in this part requiring training on hazards and related matters, such as standards requiring that employees receive training or that the employer train employees, provide training to employees, or institute or implement a training program, impose a separate compliance duty with respect to each employee covered by the requirement. The employer must train each affected employee in the manner required by the standard, and each failure to train an employee may be considered a separate violation.

At the end of the day, there is no ignoring the fact that human beings are eminently fallible, and occasionally ignore or neglect recommended or required procedures, especially when a fall on the job doesn’t immediately feel like an injury was sustained. That, for lack of a better way of phrasing it, is on them.  The employer, however, must provide the safest reasonable workplace conditions and have documented proof that workplace safety requirements are known and understood to all employees.

pizarrowife | Student

You do need to report that because anyone else could slip on that and then lawsuit u. That's my recommedation