If you have ever experienced a serious accident on the jobsite, you know it can be an incredibly stressful experience.  Having a plan in place setting forth how you expect employees to respond will help your company respond competently and quickly to an accident.  Here are a few things to consider for your plan:

  1. Prepare a checklist of how you want employees to respond to an accident, including:
    • Who should call 911?
    • Who should call the risk management team?
    • Who should talk to the first responders?
    • Who should talk to the press, if anyone?
  2. Establish a protocol to preserve the accident scene.
    • Who takes photos?
    • Who ropes off the accident scene?
    • Who retains all the evidence, like tools involved, PPE worn by employee?
    • Who writes down the names of all witnesses.
  3. Create a communication tree.
    • Who tells employees what happened and what the expectations are?
    • Who reaches out to the injured employee’s family?
    • Who speaks to first responders?
    • Who speaks to the press?
  4. Maintain and organize the accident file.
    • OSHA may want to see
      • 300 Logs
      • Training files
      • First aid/medical records
      • Safety manuals
      • Safety meeting notes
      • Accident reports
  1. Review your contract for any notification to upstream contractor and/or owner obligations.

Worksite accidents can be traumatic.  Having a plan in place for employees to follow will make your response more effective and protect the company from inadvertently creating more liability, be it with OSHA, regulatory authorities or even the injured employee.

If you have questions about your accident response plan, we recommend you contact experienced construction counsel.