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October 27, 2015

Mobile Apps Help Employers Document Onsite Accidents

It's one of the less pleasant aspects of owning a business: dealing with injuries that occur at your site. You've no doubt seen TV ads for personal injury lawyers looking for injured workers. But have you seen any offering to defend the owner of a site where an injury happened? Not likely. All the more reason to spell out procedures for you and your managers to follow in the event of an accident.

Download an App to Document Worksite Injuries

No one should be surprised to learn there are mobile apps that can be used to document workplace injuries. Most of them are from personal injury firms and insurance companies to be used for documenting car accidents. There are apps for every OS, but Android offers the
widest selection. Security is a legitimate concern regarding injury reporting, and some devices are developed with security in mind. Samsung developed the Knox security suite for its Galaxy series, which now includes:
  • Separate logins to allow device sharing
  • Audit logs
  • Easy connections with peripheral devices

How Do Accident Documentation Apps Work?

The incident tracking apps are designed to help businesses document accidents quickly and easily. Typically, the apps are menu-driven to capture key information that would normally be on a form. Users are prompted to provide specific details such as where the accident happened (office, entrance, storage area, etc.) and go on to offer more choices that meet typical insurance queries. The benefit, of course, is that the sooner everything is documented, the less likely anything is left to chance or faulty memories.

Accurate Injury Reporting Saves Time and Money

Unfortunately, accidents can happen at even the most safety-conscious worksite. For this reason, it's important to ensure they are properly and accurately reported for workers' comp purposes. Poor claims management can result in increases in workers' comp premiums. If a claim gets out of control, it could affect the total payout from the business.

Moreover, the experience modification factor compares how similar businesses manage and process workers' comp experiences as reflected through payroll and claim dollars. Businesses that manage their process well get better insurance rates.

New OSHA Incident Reporting Deadlines

OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration, has tightened certain reporting requirements effective for 2015. The following incidents must be reported within 24 hours:
  • All work-related hospitalizations; previously, this only needed to be reported if there were three or more hospitalizations
  • Any work-related amputations
  • Any work-related loss of an eye
Work-related fatalities must now be reported within eight hours.
Employers can report incidents during normal business hours to the nearest OSHA area office or OSHA's 24-hour hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). OSHA is developing an electronic reporting form that reportedly will be available on its website, but a release date has not yet been announced.

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