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Employee fatalities are something no business owner wants to even think about. But, sadly, they happen.
In 2017/18 alone, 144 employees lost their lives at work, and the main causes behind the catastrophes were:
So, what do you do when the unthinkable happens?
Make sure you protect and retain the scene in the exact same state it was in when the fatality occurred, ensure you have first aiders in attendance, and call the emergency services right away.
The police must always be informed about work-related deaths. When they arrive at the scene, clearly and accurately let them know what happened, when it happened, and where it happened.
In most cases, the enforcing authority will be either the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), your Local Authority, or the Office of Road and Rail (ORR). As soon as is reasonably possible, you must establish contact with them and inform them of what’s happened.
It’s absolutely imperative that you’re open and honest during any discussions with the police and enforcing authorities. Downplaying what happened will only hinder your case in the long run.
Once you’ve spoken to the police and enforcing authority, you should make contact with the individual’s family and carefully and sensitively tell them the news.
Remember to keep the family in the loop as investigations unravel, too.
After all the conversations have been had, you should turn your attention to the investigation process, which includes things like:
If you’re signed up to our services, you should give us a call at this point. We can support you with advice and guidance around the accident investigation process, as well as help dealing with enforcing authorities.
The penultimate point is instructing a regulatory solicitor. They’ll be able to help you when it comes to liaising with the police and enforcing authorities.
Last but not least, you’ll need to contact your insurance company. Although it’ll be the last thing on your mind at the time, they need to be in the know for the financial side of things.
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