Due to the nature of commercial construction, particularly commercial concrete, the inherent risk in our industry constantly challenges us to find new ways to protect our workers. The latest style of protective headgear, new cut proof gloves and more frequent training are just some of the ways that we try to mitigate risk. Additionally, a less experienced workforce that in the past with an influx of inexperienced Central American workers makes workplace injuries still too frequent.
It is important to know some of the best practices that BCS implements in our “Best In Class” safety program in order to take a proactive approach to safety and Injury Management. When a BCS employee reports an injury, we immediately assess the level of care that he requires. If his injury is treatable with our first aid kit, then our Safety Professional or Superintendent trained in First Aid and CPR will provide the appropriate level of care. If the injury has a skin penetration or requires an advanced level of care, we immediately transport him to the Express MD clinic for a tetanus shot and/or further evaluation and treatment. For more serious injury cases, clearly above first aid level care, the worker is immediately transported to the nearest hospital Emergency Room.
Our unique partnership with the Express MD clinic in Pflugerville, helps us find a way to provide appropriate medical attention and return our worker back to work as soon as is medically possible. It is a common misconception that occupational injuries are like winning the lottery for a worker. We strive to help our employees, understand their injury and care plan and explain the recovery process so that everything is transparent. We value each and every employee and need them back on the job as soon as possible. When severe injuries do occur, we bring our employee to each appointment, even help them with their physical therapy and confirm that they are still getting paid. We treat them like family. Remember our BCS slogan: Think Family! Think Safety!
Listed below are five things we do to be proactive when it comes to Employee Injuries:
- Investigate all accidents and near misses to identify the root causes. We focus less on who was responsible and more on the how and why the accidents or near misses occurred. By understanding the root cause, we can better develop solutions to implement to prevent accidents from occurring again and better protect our workers.
- Encourage injury reporting. We want workers to speak up and report unsafe conditions or work behavior as well any injury no matter how small it may seem. We promote safe working practices rather than encouraging workers to not report incidents.
3 Bring any injured worker to the next level of medical care, regardless of how minor an injury might seem. This gives our employees peace of mind, and many GCs require us to do this as part of their safety program.
- Walk our injured worker though the whole treatment and Workers Comp Claim process. This can seem overwhelming; however it is mostly just a lot of paperwork and keeping appointments as well as restricting duty until our employee is physically ready to go back to work. The last thing we want is for our employee to be left alone without help, sitting at home wondering what is happening with his treatment plain or Workers Comp claim or having problems with their pay.
- Return to walk. We have found that getting back to work (our Return-to-Work Program) is the most important aspect of any treatment plan and we have great relationships with Texas Mutual, Watkins Insurance and Express MD to make this happen as smoothly and as efficiently as possible. VP of Safety Todd Smith has dealt with worker injury claims for the past 15 years and is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to dealing with this system.
Remember that when someone gets hurt on the job they certainly didn’t choose to do that. Accident prevention is the only acceptable outcome for our workers involved and for BCS as an employer who values each person. If you further questions about our Injury Management program, please contact VP of Safety and HR, Todd Smith, (737) 414-3994 or firstname.lastname@example.org.