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Should I report an injury on duty even if my employee was negligent?

by , 19 June 2013
Did you know that it's a criminal offence not to report an incident or injury on duty? But, what if the employee was negligent and didn't follow your safe working procedures? Would you still have to report it?

The answer is yes!

It's up to the Compensation Commissioner to decide if the employee is entitled to compensation.

But, what if that employee needs transport to and from work? Do you still have to make arrangements for him even if the injury was caused by his own negligence?

Let's find out what Sam, a subscriber with a similar question, was advised to do by our Health and Safety expert.

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Should we provide transport for an injured employee even if he's been negligent?

Sam wants to know if his company has to provide transport for an employee who's injured his leg at work even if the accident was caused because of his own negligence.

After he conducted an incident investigation it was discovered that the employee showed gross negligence and he was taken to hospital in an ambulance.

Sam needs to know if the employee must find his own way to work or if they need to arrange transport for him.

He also wants to know if he must report the employees gross negligence to the Department of Labour and have them charge him.

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The Health and Safety expert had this advice for Sam

You still have a legal duty to make arrangements for transport, as it was an injury on duty (IOD) despite the employee's negligence. An option is to have him arrange his own transport and you can foot the bill.

Taking disciplinary action is a legal requirement according to Section 8 (g) and (h) of the OHSA (Occupational Health and Safety Act).

Use your internal disciplinary process. If he wasn't following procedure or intentionally took unacceptable risk then you must take disciplinary action against him. You can also inform the Department of Labour of his negligent actions. It's unlikely that they'll prosecute him if other people weren't harmed in the incident.

Make sure you send a copy of your disciplinary record for this incident to the Compensation Commissioner (CC). If the employee is permanently disabled after the injury, the CC has the right to reduce the percentage disability pension that may be due.

What to do if you're not sure whether it's a reportable incident
Report the matter to the Compensation Commissioner and Department of Labour. They'll decide whether to accept or reject the claim.

5 steps you must follow to report incidents to the Compensation Fund
Check out the Health and Safety Advisor, Chapter I02 Incidents: Reporting them and claiming from the Compensation Fund to find out how to report incidents.

Until next time,

Stay safe!

Kerusha Narothan
Managing Editor: Health and Safety Advisor
 

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