Before, During, And After: Describing A Workplace Injury

As an employer, you need to write an accident report every time one of your employees is injured.  A good accident report has several sections, one of which is a description of the injury. The description of the injury should include these three things:

The Sequence of Events Leading Up To the Injury

This is where you describe what the employee was doing just before the accident. It's your prerogative to decide the level of detail to include, but you should at least include where the worker was, what they were doing, and any other thing you think is material to the injury.

For example, if the worker was operating a lather machine, you should say so. If they were walking back from a lunch break, say so. If they were playing a card game with colleagues, put it down on paper. These details will help with the accident investigators and also prove/disapprove whether the employee was engaged in any forbidden/illegal activity just before the accident.

The Events of the Actual Accident

This section is important because it describes exactly how the injury took place. Anybody reading it should get a clear picture of the injury; there should be no room for guesswork. Include everything that the employee claims they felt, heard, saw, or smelled, and everything you know happened to them.

For example, this is where you describe whether the worker slipped and fell, got hit on the head by a heavy tool, or cut their wrist by a sharp blade. You will use the employee's account of the accident, witnesses' statements, and surveillance camera footage.

Events After the Accident

Conclude this section of the report by describing what happened after the injury. This will help prove that the employee actually sustained their injuries in your workplace. For example, if the worker fell from a great height, but walked away with only a few bruises, put the information in this section. That way the employee cannot later claim that the accident broke their leg because nobody can walk away from an accident scene with a broken leg. At the same time, if the employee was limping after the fall, the information can help prove their claims of a sprained ankle.

An accident report isn't just a legal requirement; it also helps you to review the safety and security features on your premises. The information, therefore, can help you improve your premises' safety and reduce the risk of similar accidents. For more information about dealing with an accident, speak with your workmans compensation insurance representative.